The Minister for Education, Julia Gillard, today welcomed the decision by Commonwealth, State and Territory Education and Employment Ministers to fund the Reading Writing Hotline in 2010.
The Hotline is a national information, counselling and referral service for callers who need help to connect with language, literacy and numeracy services in their area.
Since the service began in 1994, the Hotline has assisted 123 000 callers. Call volumes are rising steadily.
The Hotline has provided an important service to Australians since it began. At a time of increasing demand for skilled labour, many more Australians are seeking to take up training, but many lack the underpinning foundation skills they need to succeed.
The 2006 Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey showed that approximately 40 per cent of employed and 60 per cent of unemployed Australians have poor or very poor literacy and numeracy skills. The Reading Writing Hotline has provided a vital service in helping to overcome these barriers and connect people to the training opportunities they need.
The Hotline also makes an important contribution to the Council of Australian Governments’ participation, productivity and social inclusion agendas.
The Hotline is 1300 655 506. Further information on the Reading Hotline Service is at www.literacyline.edu.au.