Why businesses should care about the UK’s literacy problem

Literacy problem

Why businesses should care about the UK’s literacy problem

The core of the UK’s literacy problem is often assumed to be education. And sure, working on literacy levels in schools will do its part in reducing the problem. But the responsibility does not fall on educational institutions alone. Adult illiteracy is as pressing a concern as in younger generations. 1 in 6 adults in England are said to have very poor literacy skills

One of the ways adult illiteracy most often manifests itself is in employment. A third of businesses are not satisfied with newly employed young people’s literacy skills. And a similar amount end up organising remedial training to bridge the gaps. 

Set to benefit from improvements to literacy, businesses should take some ownership in trying to fix the problem. Here are the ways businesses can expect to benefit if UK literacy levels improve.

Higher literacy = better efficiency

If literacy levels are higher, we will see improved communications within businesses. Those who struggle with literacy can find themselves unable to communicate their thoughts or feelings. This results in miscommunication and tension amongst employees. Higher literacy levels mean better business communication. Professional relationships will improve as a result.

There will also be fewer mistakes. If members of your team aren’t sure what you mean or are prone to misreading instruction, you’re likely to experience more mistakes. This could cause issues with customer service or wider operations. With fewer mistakes made, business operations can be more efficient.

If the nation’s literacy skills improve, businesses will spend less time and money on further literacy training. By doing their part to improve the nation’s literacy problem now, businesses save themselves time and expense in the future. 

Employee satisfaction

If we reduce the UK’s literacy problem, employees will be better equipped to do their jobs. They’ll worry less about how weak literacy skills may affect their getting, or maintaining of, jobs. Instead, people will enter employment with improved confidence. This will, in turn, increase employee satisfaction as they are more likely to perform at their best and succeed. 

One of the ways literacy levels can be detrimental to employment is by encouraging feelings of exclusion. By improving literacy levels, businesses can expect to see less exclusion amongst their workforce. As a result, they’ll see improvements in staff morale and motivation.

They’ll also experience less frustration from employees who struggle with literacy. Employees can feel like they’re not being heard. This will reduce if literacy levels improve, employees will communicate better, and be more satisfied in employment.

Plan for the future

By improving literacy levels in the younger generations, we are raising the calibre of future employees. In dealing with these issues now, we are securing ourselves better workers for the future.

Businesses will also have more potential employees to choose from. Fewer people will be shut out from job opportunities because of literacy struggles. The younger generations make up our future workforce, so helping them will help the future of businesses nationwide.

Low levels of literacy cost the taxpayer about £2.5 billion every year. Literacy levels affect our economy and fixing them will improve the UK economically. Fixing our nation’s literacy problem will help to shape our future economic landscape. Businesses will play a fundamental role in this.

Businesses have a lot to gain from the UK rectifying its literacy problem. But because of this, they should play their part in bringing those changes. By putting time and effort into helping literacy, businesses set themselves up for a better future.

At Coster Content, we understand the far-reaching benefits of fixing the literacy problem. From improving children’s lives to shaping our future workforce and improving our economy, literacy matters. The literacy problem is extremely close to our hearts, and we’re proud to be doing our bit to help. If you want to find out more information or discover the ways you can help, get in touch on 0161 413 8418.

Alia CosterComment