The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) National Foundation Skills Strategy for Adults is a ten-year framework which brings a national focus to improving education and employment outcomes for working age Australians with low levels of foundation skills (language, literacy, numeracy and employability skills).
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Through the strategy all Australian governments have committed to a target that, by 2022, two thirds of working age Australians will have literacy and numeracy skills at Level 3 or above (refers to the levels in the Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey undertaken in 2006 by the Australian Bureau of Statistics).
The strategy will help to achieve this goal by creating a nationally consistent environment within which Australian governments can work together to improve the foundation skills development of working age Australians through four priority areas for action:
- Raising awareness and commitment to action – building an understanding of foundation skills in the workplace and the community and removing the stigma associated with low adult foundation skills
- Adult learners have high quality learning opportunities and outcome – providing a variety of foundation skills development opportunities that can be tailored to individual needs
- Strengthening foundation skills in the workplace – establishing strong and lasting partnerships between government, industry, employers and unions and providing foundation skills training that is responsive to employers and industry needs
- Building the capacity of the education and training workforces to deliver foundation skills – building the skills of specialist language, literacy and numeracy practitioners, developing the workforce to enable the effective teaching of employability skills and supporting vocational trainers to better integrate foundation skills with vocational training.
The former Australian Government’s Standing Council on Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment, which in 2013 was replaced by the COAG Industry and Skills Council, developed the strategy.