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Basics boosted;FE Focus

NEARLY 100 voluntary and community groups across the country received grants this week to help people with poor basic skills.

The groups have won funding from the three-year, pound;15 million Adult and Community Learning Fund. The money helps people such as the homeless, ex-offenders and families and adults living in disadvantaged neighbourhoods. The majority of schemes emphasise basic literacy and numeracy.

Latest statistics suggest that around one in five adults in the UK - eight million people - lack basic skills. But only around 250,000 are in a programme to improve their literacy and numeracy.

The Basic Skills Agency has found that such people are more likely to be unemployed; more likely to live in low-income households and to be in poor health.

Alan Wells, director of the agency, which is co-managing the fund, said:

"If we really want to improve the basic skills of adults in this country, we have to get more people to believe that it is important."

Ngaio Crequer

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