COUNCILLORS recently considered the progress of Aberdeenshire Council’s Literacies Strategy, approving the ongoing development and direction of this work which aims to support opportunities for people living in Scotland to flourish.
At a national as well as local level there is a recognition that it’s important to reduce the number of working-age people with severe literacy problems. In Aberdeenshire there’s also a recognition that’s not only about being able to read words on a page but having the skills and awareness to be able to live a healthy, financially stable and digitally-engaged life too.
Interim Service Manager for Communities and Partnerships, Philip Boath explained: “We’re not just talking about functional literacy but emotional literacy, financial literacy, health literacy and digital literacy. Low literacies levels can present as a barrier to learning, employment, family and community life so we’re committed to supporting people who are facing challenges to strengthen a range of different skills.”
There are lots of different stakeholders involved in this piece of work which ranges from delivering focus group sessions with existing learners, service providers and those supporting learning as well as outreach engagement with communities of interest.
Outcomes of consultation meetings with members of the public as well as partners are shaping what’s put together next. It’s clear from these discussions people would like to prioritise a shared understanding of literacies that uses simplified language that is inclusive for everyone, reducing the barriers people face to engaging effectively in key aspects of their lives, easier access to literacies learning and the development of literacies awareness for potential learners and service providers.
Cllr Gillian Owen, Chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Education and Children’s Services Committee commented: “Lifelong learning is important to each and every one of us. Upskilling individuals will not only have a huge impact on their day-to-day lives and wellbeing but a lasting impact on families and generations for years to come. I’d like to commend the team for their holistic approach to this area of work and look forward to hearing the success stories.”
Vice-Chair Cllr Rosemary Bruce added: “The work our community learning and development teams do is vital to the future of Scotland’s economy too. Economic success is not only about creating wealth but stimulating shared wealth and supporting a sense of collective wellbeing. A big part of that is about ensuring everyone has the opportunity to develop their literacies skills and fulfil their individual potential.”
Contact your local community learning and development team by emailing email@example.com You can also find out more about the work they do and see details of learning opportunities on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ALaberdeenshire/