Working together to improve Adult Core Skills

ACER is committed to supporting VET providers, RTOs, universities and employers in assessing the writing skills of students and employees. 

We are currently working with a range of clients to quickly and effectively assess writing including:

  • CAE
  • The Reserve Bank of Australia
  • Northern Metropolitan Institute of Technology
  • Victoria University
  • Combined Team Solutions
  • Central Institute of Technology
  • AFL Players Association

A large number of education providers and organisations also utilise ACER's Core Skills Profile for Adults to assess reading, numeracy, mechanical and abstract reasoning along with writing.

Evidence that the OWA is needed

The OWA enables education providers and organisations to make informed decisions to support their students and employees in upskilling.  A recent article by Bethany Hiatt, 'Graduates ‘lack literacy skills' (c) 2013, West Australian Newspapers Limited, reported on the bleak picture of basic literacy skills in Australia:

More than 40 per cent of employers say they are disappointed with the basic literacy skills of higher education graduates. Results of a survey of 500 employers by the Australian Industry Group also found that 36 per cent were not satisfied with graduates’ numeracy skills.

Chief executive Innes Willox told a national universities forum in Canberra yesterday that higher education providers were not turning out graduates with the skills that employers expected.

He said the results of the unpublished survey showed that most ratings were generally satisfactory, though not high in areas such as planning and organising (49.3 per cent) and initiative and enterprise (50.9 per cent). 'It is hard, however, to look past the figure that only 58 per cent of employers are satisfied or very satisfied with basic literacy and English of graduates,' he said.

Mr Willox said before Australia could build an economy of the future, it needed the basic building blocks of good literacy, numeracy and language skills in place.

'Our looming literacy and numeracy deficits and the comparative disadvantage we are placing ourselves in while we seek to compete in an increasingly globalised economy mean that if we aren’t in a crisis now, our workplaces of the future certainly will be,' he said.