PFG has made a commitment to work together with other businesses to close the nation’s literacy gap and boost social mobility for the 6th year.
Whilst this topic is particularly relevant at the moment, due to the recently reported impacts of the pandemic, PFG has campaigned for improving literacy levels for a number of years and can therefore appreciate the amount of work that needs to be done.
We understand that the volume of children and young adults struggling with their literacy post-pandemic has become so great, that we're campaigning for more support to be given, and we believe that more businesses need to get involved to help.
Many of us take literacy and being able to read and understand words for granted. We can probably think back to a time when we sang nursery rhymes or got lost in a fairy tale story read to us from beautiful books.
These experiences also helped us to develop our literacy skills, they enriched our lives by broadening our horizons and teaching us new things. It's through these encounters that our confidence in language increased, our knowledge of words developed, and made us good communicators. These experiences helped us to develop a strong sense of well-being and citizenship and gave us a better chance of doing well in our careers. And yet, there are over 7 million adults in England who have very poor literacy skills.
Lacking these vital literacy skills can put people at risk of social exclusion, it can impact their well-being and cause low self-esteem and frustration. They will struggle to read a newspaper or use the internet, make sense of a bus or train timetable, understand instructions or fill out a form. They will struggle to get a job and as a parent, they won’t be able to support their own child’s learning.
That’s why we’ve teamed up with 88 other businesses from across the UK to work together to help close the nation’s literacy gap and boost social mobility. We’ve all signed the National Literacy Trust’s Vision for Literacy Business Pledge 2022 to show our commitment. Here are some of the ways we’ll be tackling this issue at PFG in 2022:
We’re continuing to support the following National Literacy Trust programmes:
- Early Words Together in Birmingham and London. The programme empowers parents and carers to support their children’s early communication and literacy development by building literacy into daily life.
- Words for Work in Bradford, Chatham, Havant, and London which gives young people the communication skills they need for the workplace.
- A ‘Bradford Stories’ programme called ‘Doorstep to Digital’ which provides families across the city with packs that they can use to connect with books and other learning activities at times of challenge and difficulty.
- We’re delivering a Reciprocal Reading training programme to teachers at local schools in the Bradford area through our partnership with education consultancy Leading Children.
- We’re also working with the charity Innovations for Learning, which targets struggling young readers from disadvantaged communities through its flagship programme, TutorMate, which uses technology to enable colleague volunteer tutors to give children vital reading support from their workplace or home using an online platform.
Disruptions to education over the past two years risk reversing the past decade’s progress in closing the attainment gap.
The need to address the nation’s declining literacy rates is clear, and as business leaders, we know this can only be solved by schools, charities, businesses, and the public sector working together. At PFG we’re excited to be working with so many other businesses to help give these young people, no matter what their background, the opportunities they need to be included in society and to go on to fulfill their potential.
To find out more about the Vision for Literacy Business Pledge 2022 visit: https://literacytrust.org.uk/policy-and-campaigns/businesspledge/