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No one should be left lacking vital literacy skills

The publication of the Scottish Government's Literacy Action Plan is to be applauded for delivering a range of actions from early years through to employment, aimed at eradicating poor literacy across the country.

The Scottish Survey of Adult Literacies, published earlier this year, showed that 73.3 per cent of Scots have an internationally-recognised level of skill required in contemporary society, while about 25 per cent would benefit from improving their skills and 3.6 per cent have very poor literacy skills.

Although it is great news that adult literacy rates are improving in Scotland, a lot of work still needs to be done and no one should be left lacking these vital skills.

Poor basic literacy skills act as a barrier to employment, hinder opportunity and hold back businesses and organisations in fulfilling their potential. It is essential that all individuals enter the workplace with the literacy skills they need for work, a firm base on which employers can develop the necessary vocational skills.

The Literacy Action Plan puts in place the foundations on which to deliver a skilled workforce, vital in the current competitive global economy.

Jacqui Hepburn, director, Alliance of Sector Skills Councils in Scotland, Castle Street, Edinburgh.

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