Call for Employers to Collaborate on Literacy
By Literacy North Otago | Posted: Wednesday May 11, 2016
Lynda Scott Araya of Literacy North Otago is calling for more business owners to collaborate on improving workplace literacy standards.
Her job is
to co-ordinate the local Employer-Led Workplace Literacy programmes, the
first of which sees six North Otago businesses collaborate in maximising
employees’ literacy, numeracy and communication skills.
“My job involves encouraging more business owners - including farmers – to collaborate in these programmes where I work with the employer and employees on the literacy and numeracy goals they set for their workplace. We also help the employees meet their personal goals. They might want to read to their children, speak at their rugby club or engage with their children’s school,” she says.
Ms Scott Araya trained as a secondary school teacher majoring in English and history.
“Most recently I’ve been the education worker at the Otago Corrections facility in Milton, working across all security classifications with the men on their literacy and numeracy and self-directed learning.”
“I find it very satisfying to be working with people in this context, because they’re often people who have struggled within a mainstream school setting,” she says.
“I recently spent two days here in North Otago helping someone who was trying to get unit standards around the newly introduced Health and Safety at Work Act. This person owns a business and is ultimately responsible for the employees under the legislation but had fallen through the cracks in the education system a long time ago and now struggles with basic literacy and numeracy.”
Ms Scott Araya said this scenario is more common than you would think in a country like New Zealand.
“There are any number of people who are very practical, very able to do their trades jobs but have a lot of trouble with reading, writing and numeracy. Now there’s the need to be more compliant with documentation and legislation. People have to get qualifications for a job that, 20 years ago, you would be able to get on practical experience alone. So there are people out there who are really experienced in their own fields but are now struggling because of the increased demands of qualifications in literacy and numeracy.”
Literacy North Otago
03 434 2236
020 086 4886