£3.9bn pledged to improve adult literacy & numeracy

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An ambitious target for 2.25 million people to achieve their first national qualification in basic skills, such as reading and writing, has been achieved two years early, according to John Denham, secretary of state for innovation, universities and skills.

The government now plans to improve the literacy and numeracy skills of a further one million adults over the next three years. This will be backed by an extra £3.9 billion in government funding between 2007/08 and 2010/11.

Since 2001, around 2,276,000 learners have achieved their first Skills for Life qualification in literacy, language or numeracy, said Mr Denham.

"These qualifications give people so much more than just a certificate. Gaining basic skills like reading and writing are a vital step towards getting a better job and life.

"Better skills improve the life chances of not only the learners but also their families and children. Skills help people get into and on at work, provide a stepping stone to further qualifications and can also help parents with basic tasks like supporting their children with their homework or reading them a bedtime story."

Mark Haysom, chief executive of the Learning and Skills Council, which plans and funds Skills for Life courses, added: "With this fantastic achievement now under our belt we must continue with our crusade to eliminate poor literacy and numeracy within England."

Last month we reported that two thirds of adults had failed a basic literacy test by Better Writing Skills - to read the story click here

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