Literacy, Numeracy and Digital Literacy 101: What employers need to know

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What are the issues and challenges around language, literacy, numeracy and digital literacy in the workplace?

About this event

The Ai Group Centre for Education and Training presents a panel discussion designed to introduce key concepts and discuss strategies to overcome barriers around language, literacy, numeracy and digital literacy in the workplace.

Ai Group’s 2018 workforce development needs survey found that 99 per cent of employers are affected by low levels of literacy and numeracy. The Centre’s recent Skills Urgency report found that basic digital literacy is needed the most out of all digital skills across the entire workforce.

The webinar’s guest speakers are some of Australia’s most respected figures in their respective areas of research and practice, and have contributed to the development of polices, strategies, and programs focusing on language, literacy, numeracy and digital literacy.

Jo Medlin is an adult literacy and numeracy specialist and advocate. Her areas of interest include teaching, resource development, learner support, and teacher and volunteer tutor training. Jo is President of the Australian Council of Adult Literacy (ACAL) and a member of various volunteer committees including the Reading Writing Hotline Steering Committee and DESE’s Foundation Skills Advisory Committee. For 30 years Jo has been involved in teaching in TAFE, workplaces and in the community, as well as developing resources and training teachers (especially in meeting learner LLN needs). Jo recently consulted and taught on the adult literacy documentary ‘Lost for Words’ (Currently on SBS on Demand).

Dave Tout is a Senior Research Fellow at the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER). He has over 40 years’ experience working in schools, TAFEs, community providers, universities and industry. Dave has an international reputation in adult literacy and numeracy education and assessment, with a focus on developing conceptual frameworks and assessments, professional development, and writing curriculum and teaching materials. Dave has been involved in the development and writing of the numeracy assessments in two of the OECD’s international assessment programs (PISA and PIAAC) and is currently the Chair of the Numeracy Expert Group for the second cycle of PIAAC.

Jo Coldwell-Neilson is Associate Dean Teaching and Learning and Professor in the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Built Environment at Deakin University. Jo has focused her career on the intersection of IT and education, building on her industry experience prior to joining academia. She is well known for her work on digital literacy, gender issues in IT, and educational technology implementation. Jo's most notable research achievement is being awarded an Office of Learning and Teaching Fellowship in 2016 to investigate digital literacy in the context of higher education.

Denyse Ritchie is Literacy Chair at Murdoch University. She is a literacy specialist with a strong interest in ESOL and adult literacy. She is a teacher and teacher trainer and delivers professional development in teaching literacy skills. Denyse has worked in many indigenous communities. She has a particular interest in bilingual and first language teaching as a means to ‘close the education gap’. Denyse has taught pre-schoolers through to adults.

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Organiser Ai Group

Organiser of Literacy, Numeracy and Digital Literacy 101: What employers need to know

The Australian Industry Group (Ai Group) is Australia's peak industry association. Acting on behalf of business for more than 140 years, we are the country's only truly national employers' organisation.


Ai Group represents the interests of more than 60,000 businesses employing more than 1 million staff. Our longstanding involvement with diverse industry sectors including manufacturing, construction, transport, labour hire, mining services, defence, airlines and ICT means we are genuinely representative of Australian industry.


With more than 250 staff in offices across NSW, QLD, SA, VIC and WA, we have the resources and the expertise to meet the changing needs of our members. We provide the practical information, advice and assistance you need to run your business more effectively.


Ai Group also offers members a voice at all levels of government through our policy leadership and influence. Our deep experience of industrial relations and workplace law positions Ai Group as the leading advocate on behalf of enterprises large and small across Australia.


We intrinsically appreciate the challenges facing industry and remain at the cutting edge of policy debate and legislative change – and strategic business management.

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