With almost half of Australians living with low literacy levels, Adult Learners Week recently shone a light on how TAFE NSW can provide life-changing skills and broaden employment opportunities.
The Australian Government estimates 44% of Australians don’t have the literacy skills needed to successfully navigate everyday life.
TAFE NSW Head Teacher for Employability Skills and Career Pathways, Amber Weyman, said this year’s theme for Adult Learners’ Week It’s Never Too Late To Learn, complements the focus on life-long learning at TAFE NSW and was something she thought many in the Illawarra could relate to.
“Education is for people of all ages and backgrounds, and we can tailor learning to suit the needs of our students, so they have the support and resources they need to succeed,” Ms Weyman said.
“TAFE NSW Career Preparation and Advancement Courses build reading, writing and communication skills for both personal and professional development.
“We have students of all ages and stages of life who are just starting or re-starting their learning journey.
“Luna Lay Leong is a perfect example of this. Luna is a mature-age student at TAFE NSW Wollongong who enrolled in literacy, numeracy, digital literacy, and language courses,” Ms Weyman said.
The Albion Park resident arrived in Australia from East Timor 40 years ago and has juggled raising a family with running a takeaway food business.
Now at 58, she is dedicating more of her time to improve her reading as well as keep up with technology, something she said a lot of older people could benefit from.
“I felt I was missing skills in writing and reading so I enrolled at TAFE NSW, and I can tell you what I have learned has made my life much easier. My reading, speaking, and digital knowledge are much better.
“Some people probably think when they get older, they can’t do anything new or different, it’s not true. Learning can change your life. I’ve met new people and learned new skills. I’m keeping up with technology and not relying on my kids for it. I don’t feel old anymore,” she said.
The President of Adult Learning Australia, Kathleen Priestly said, “People with low literacy and numeracy skills can struggle with essential tasks others take for granted, and they are also likely to feel high levels of shame and powerlessness, which can lead to social isolation.”
“We are encouraging people who might have given up on learning for any reason at all to have another go, no matter their background, previous education level and age,” Ms Priestly said.
Media contact: Adam Wright, Communications Specialist, 0466 375 552, firstname.lastname@example.org