The main goal of the project Literacy@Work is to develop and improve the quality of workplace literacy trainings in Europe in favor of first-level employees and business performance of companies.
The project is implemented by a transnational partnership made of ALPES (France), BFI OÖ (Austria), CDI (France), and Zukunftsbau (Germany).
It benefits from the financing of Leonardo Transfer of Innovation programme over the period 2013-2015.


Findings on which Literacy@work is based on

An estimated 20% of European adults lack the literacy skills they need to function fully in a modern society. The share of low achievers in reading literacy for example is in Austria = 27,5%, France = 19,8%, Germany = 18,5% (source: OECD PISA 2009). Most of European adults who lack sufficient literacy skills are employed. Therefore struggling against illiteracy is very much related to the workplace.

Companies have discovered this phenomenon quite recently due to economic changes (quality procedures which impact on the whole production chain including lowly qualified workers), use of ITC, etc. Literacy continuous training offer for adults in companies in Europe is very poor and mostly not adapted, first to the company needs, then to lowly qualified workers for 2 reasons:

Continuous training providers usually disconnect the analysis of the needs of the employees from their job tasks. Consultants use their usual diagnostic tools which are adapted to highly qualified employees and linked to general education systems, which does not enable to provide a personalized training path adapted to low-skilled employees and does not provide them with concrete solutions to apply straight away in the workplace.

Companies or training financing organisations usually have a fragmented approach of literacy training, considering literacy training as a training module only, meanwhile it has to be considered with a global and systemic approach. Literacy training is a global project to be shared in the organization. If an employee is trained in literacy and is not requested to use the new learning outcome, the literacy competences will be lost again.


Specific objectives of Literacy@Work

To capitalize and disseminate to continuous training providers in companies a best-practice methodological approach to build a literacy training path at work

The best practice methodological guide is based on the transfer, adaptation and enhancement according to EU context of "Workplace literacy: a programme manager's guide" published by the New Zealand Centre for Workforce Literacy Development (Workbase).

As for dissemination, Literacy@work website is inspired from Workbase and New Zealand "Skills highway" websites.

Over the duration of the project, the methodological guide and communication tools are experimented in Austria, France and Germany.
Moreover Literacy@work approach is disseminated in networks of continuous training providers, professional organizations and training financers.

To raise the awareness of companies on:

- The value of literacy skills for productivity, turnover reduction and employees'wellbeing
- How to detect and identify literacy problems in the staff
- On the necessary global and systemic approach of literacy training process

Awareness raising is achieved by means of information / training sessions of Human Resources and/or training department of companies.


A.L.P.E.S. - Association Lyonnaise de Promotion et d’Éducation Sociale, FRANCE
Claire Marx
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C.D.I. - Conseil Développement Innovation, FRANCE
Noëlle Tassy
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bfi - Berufsförderungsinstitut OÖ, AUSTRIA
Angela Feichtinger
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Zukunftsbau GmbH, GERMANY
Dr. Klaus J. Bunke
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