Manufacturing News

Investing in workplace literacy pays off: report

Employers investing in language, literacy and numeracy (LLN) programs in their workplaces can expect to see returns on investment of between 102 and 163 per cent, according to new research.

The Ai Group report – Building Employer Commitment to Workplace Literacy and Numeracy Programs – was completed with the assistance of the Australian Council for Educational Research.

Commenting on the report, Australian Industry Group Chief Executive, Innes Willox pointed out that 93 per cent of employers have cited that low levels of language, literacy and numeracy are having an impact on their business.

"The message for employers from this new research is unambiguous: making an effort at the workplace to lift language, literacy and numeracy skills pays off on the bottom line and makes a valuable contribution to individuals and the community,” Willox said.

"The report captures the results of Workplace English Language and Literacy (WELL) projects implemented in a number of different sized businesses in a diversity of industries. All of those enterprises that agreed to participate and were able to provide the necessary data produced a positive return on investment.”

He pointed to the example of Intercast & Forge, a company which manufactures cast iron products for railway, automotive, mining and earth moving, and construction industries. This workplace requires extensive Workplace Health and Safety protocols and exact compliance with procedures.

“As a result of their program, including customised LLN training for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) employees, they have seen a return on investment of 163%. The implementation of the LLN program reduced the frequency of workplace errors leading to considerable savings in lost time for supervisors and workers,” Willox said.

He said that the benefits of LLN programs for individual employees are well-known and added –

“The results in this report highlight the business case for employers to invest in LLN training – it makes good business sense.”

The full report can be found here.

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