In the UK around 1 in 6 adults still struggle with reading and writing, and around 1 in 4 adults still find maths difficult.
Currently 90% of jobs need at least basic computer skills, but international research shows that around one half of adults in England and Northern Ireland lack the basic skills to effectively use computers.
English, maths, digital and other related skills are crucial for people to succeed in work, helping people find work and earn more. They also contribute to their wider lives, including increasing the likelihood of people being active in their community, and economic growth.
However, the number of adults taking English and maths courses each year has fallen significantly in recent years. At current rates, it would take decades to address the challenge of poor basic skills.
Our work is focused on how to widen access to these skills, as well as improving the range and quality of provision. We need to design new approaches that engage people and trial new approaches to delivering basic skills. We argue this requires more investment to create more opportunities to learn, and recognising these skills are inter-related and made more accessible by being contextualised and integrated.