Little is know about the experiences of unemployed people with literacy and/or numeracy difficulties in Ireland, particularly with respect to the nature and effectiveness of any assistance that such individuals received through the National Employment Action Plan (NEAP). A new study by the ESRI and NALA used data from the Department of Social Protection/ESRI Profiling Project.
Research tells us that people with weak literacy skills are more likely to be unemployed. Therefore, logically this issue should be an important consideration in labour market policy and in particular activation policy, although this has not always been the case. This research study provides strong arguments for prioritising unemployed adults with literacy needs and those with low educational attainment in labour market activation.
The key findings of the report are:
- that unemployed people with literacy and/or numeracy difficulties are more likely to become long-term unemployed;
- that unemployed people with literacy and/or numeracy difficulties are not more likely to be in receipt of government-sponsored training under NEAP;
- that when those with literacy and/or numeracy difficulties do receive training that they benefit by much more than average - they are 29% more likely to exit the Live Register compared to 11% for the full unemployment population;
- that individuals with literacy and/or numeracy difficulties can be effectively activated within the mainstream NEAP system.