“Employers who are experiencing declining literacy and numeracy in their workplaces will not be surprised by the falling standards reflected in the latest preliminary NAPLAN test results,” Australian Industry Group Chief Executive, Innes Willox, said.
“One Ai Group member told me that only one in five young people they interviewed recently for apprenticeships passed their simple factory maths test. This is a fairly typical experience among employers who are frustrated at the literacy and numeracy standards among secondary school graduates seeking employment.
“A national effort is needed to lift numeracy and literacy levels or else Australia and Australians risk being left behind as our workplaces become more global and reliant on high quality STEM skills as well as the all-important softer skills such as communication, teamwork and robust analysis.
“Employer concerns about the preparedness of our school students for the workforce is further supported by well documented poor performance in international tests such as PISA and TIMSS.
“2017’s results are particularly interesting as they represent 10 years of national testing. They show that the performance of students has only improved marginally over the past decade. There has been a 3.5 per cent increase in reading and a 2.5 per cent increase in numeracy over the decade. However, in relation to writing, introduced in testing in 2011, there has been a 2 per cent decline. There has been no significant difference in achievement in any domain (reading, writing, language conventions, numeracy) or year level (3,5,7 and 9) in the last year.
“While there has been some improvement in the results for Year 3, concerns remain about the results for Years 7 and 9 and these are the students approaching the end of schooling and entry into the job market,” Mr Willox said.
Source: Ai Group