A new Basic Skills Strategy Unit has today been launched and will be housed within the DfEE at Sanctuary Buildings. Its remit is to tackle adult literacy and numeracy problems. The service will be fully operational once Unit staff, taken from other government departments as well as from education and the voluntary sector, have their feet under the table. National Press will carry advertisements for the Unit Director this week.
Announcing the new unit David Blunkett reminded the press that around 7 million people cannot read and write in Britain. 'Poor literacy and numeracy undermines the fabric of society. It is one of the major causes of unemployment, low pay and other forms of disadvantage. Helping adults gain these skills will make a huge difference to their lives' he said at the press launch.
The Unit has developed as a direct result of last year's Moser Report 'A Fresh Start: Improving Literacy and Numeracy' which made a series of recommendations for tackling the illiteracy problem.
The core staff team will be supported by basic skills officers in the 47 new LSCs (Learning and Skills Councils) and will benefit from close links with the Basic Skills Agency.