Wilkinson's Workplace Literacy Make Workplace Literacy Work for You
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What Is Workplace Literacy?


Workplace literacy refers to the literacy, English language and numeracy skills needed by employees in order to effectively carry out their roles in the workplace. Literacy encompasses not only reading and writing, but also listening, speaking, problem solving and critical thinking skills.

When your employees do any of the following, they are using literacy, language or numeracy skills:

  • Participate in a team meeting
  • Complete calculations
  • Assess the reasonableness of numeric data
  • Fill out forms
  • Follow or give clear instructions
  • Address problems
  • Follow SOPs or health and safety procedures

WWL Workplace Literacy

Workplace Literacy in New Zealand


Extensive surveys carried out in 1996 (IALS) and 2006 (ALL Survey) revealed a significant need for workplace literacy, language and numeracy development in New Zealand. Although small workplace literacy programmes were run throughout the 1990s, it was not until 2001 that significant government funding was made available, through the Workplace Literacy Fund, to assist employers in addressing the need for literacy, language and numeracy skill development.

The Workplace Literacy Fund is most commonly accessed by specialist literacy providers who have a fixed level of funding made available to them in order to deliver workplace literacy programmes in New Zealand businesses.


 Identifying the need

Would you benefit from a Workplace Literacy Programme?

There are many indicators of low levels of literacy, language and numeracy. If you have noticed any of the following in your workplace, you may benefit from a workplace literacy programme.

  • Low levels of employee participation in meetings or the available channels of communication
  • Poor quality reporting or frequent errors or omissions in forms and documentation
  • Inaccuracies in data recording
  • Spoken instructions not followed correctly
  • Frequent use of translation
  • Avoidance of graphs, charts, SOPs or other printed materials
  • Poor estimation or planning skills.
Contact us now to find out what kind of programme could benefit your business.


© 2013 Wilkinson's Workplace Literacy  |  Phone: 03 335 0916  | wwl@wels.ac.nz  |  257 Lincoln Road, Addington, Christchurch  | Postal address: P O Box 31231, Ilam 8444