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Life-changing skills in literacy and numeracy in hospitality sector

Life-changing skills in literacy and numeracy in hospitality sector

Last updated 7 August 2017
Last updated 7 August 2017

Literacy and Numeracy programme motivates employees to aspire to greater rewards in their careers, and significantly improves workplace communication and team-work.

“Many employers involved in the programme are unaware of the low level of literacy and numeracy skills of many of the staff,” says Joshua Sibly, Director/Lead Employer, WPL Consortium Trust/Kdj Hospitality Ltd.

It’s not until completing the programme that employers see real evidence of significant improvement. Workplace skills such as communication, team-work, health and safety awareness, and compliance reporting significantly improved. Staff self-esteem, confidence and enthusiasm also improved.

“I only realised after the programme just what was lacking. The majority of staff never actually completed secondary school,” says Mr Sibly. Some staff didn’t think they could learn anything because of past failures at school.

The programme changed their outlook on life. “It’s amazing how the sense of team loyalty improved. They now ‘watch each other’s backs’ while on shift. One of the most important changes for me is listening how they talk about what they’ve learned.”

Their newfound literacy and numeracy skills are also motivating them to look for further opportunities to progress their careers. While NCEA achievement was never offered as part of the programme outcomes, the trainer arranged for NCEA Certificates to be awarded at the graduation ceremony.  “… there were several emotional people!”

With a much better understanding of the need to identify any learning barriers, Mr Sibly feels inspired to be a better leader. “The importance of engagement, of getting alongside the individuals and making a commitment to them as individuals, is the only way a programme like this is going to succeed.”

The WPL Consortium used TEC’s Workplace Literacy and Numeracy (WLN) Employer-led funding for 14 employers within the hospitality sector to train 200 people. Areas covered include Auckland, Wellington, Taranaki and the Hawkes Bay. Thirty percent of learners have significantly improved their literacy and numeracy skills.

“The consortium approach allowed for many other small hospitality groups to share this great success”, said Mr Sibly.