National Adult Literacy Week 2010


New TV campaign encourages adults to take the first step back to education

A major new TV advertising campaign that encourages adults to ‘take the first step’ to improve their reading, writing and maths skills was launched today, Monday 6 September, in Dublin. It is sponsored by An Post.

Taking the first steps on any difficult journey requires courage and commitment – and for those who have difficulties reading or writing, the stigma attached can prove daunting and discouraging. This campaign aims to dispel this stigma by focusing on the benefits of returning to further education, as well as demonstrating that this issue is not confined to any particular demographic segment.

The advertisements profile three individuals who have overcome their problems with reading, writing and maths and are intended to encourage people to make contact with adult literacy services by ringing the National Adult Literacy Agency (NALA) freephone support line. The three profiles are A brother keeps in touch , A daughter talking about her Dad , and The first birthday card sent by a mother

The campaign is aimed at the one in four adults in Ireland who have literacy difficulties – these include people who left school early, those who have got out of practise reading and writing, and those whom the education system failed.

Inez Bailey, Director, National Adult Literacy Agency, said,  “We greatly welcome An Post’s continued commitment to supporting people with literacy and numeracy difficulties in Ireland and congratulate them on producing this new campaign. Many adults over the years have left school early and have no qualifications. This can act as a barrier to accessing other educational opportunities. As low skilled jobs become less available, these people are now at the greatest risk of unemployment and already form the greatest group who are unemployed. Those with higher education and training levels can adapt their skills for new and emerging work. This is rarely an option for the very low skilled, who with less opportunities are forced into state dependency.”

An Post Chief Executive Donal Connell said, “Literacy is a very important issue for this country, one which impinges on the quality of life of our customers and has the power to help them fulfil their true potential.  Equally, it is critical for the future development and growth of our society and our economy.  An Post is at the heart of Irish life, commercially and socially and we want to continue to play our part, by providing long-term support in a meaningful context, in conjunction with NALA”.

The new TV campaign leads on from An Post’s original, highly successful advertising campaign (2006 – 2009), which resulted in thousands of people contacting NALA for help with reading and writing since the start of the campaign. It was launched today by the Minister for Lifelong learning, Sean Haughey, T.D, at 11am in the National Library of Ireland, Dublin to mark the start of National Adult Literacy Awareness Week.

The TV campaign was researched, developed and funded by An Post, in association with the National Adult Literacy Agency.  The campaign will air on RTE, TV3, Sky, E4 and the Living channel throughout September.

The National Adult Literacy Agency:

The National Adult Literacy Agency is an independent membership organisation, concerned with developing policy, advocacy, research and offering advisory services in adult literacy work in Ireland. NALA was established in 1980 and has campaigned since then for the recognition of, and responses to, the adult literacy issue in Ireland.

The VEC Adult Literacy Service is the largest provider of adult literacy tuition in Ireland. Currently there are an estimated 50,000 adults attending 130 VEC Adult Literacy Services in Ireland.

New course for unemployed

NALA have a free course for the unemployed that they can do from home. It’s a level 3 FETAC qualification (junior cert) and they can choose what they want to learn – from Preparation for Work to Computer Skills. Free phone 1800 20 20 65 or text ‘Learn’ to 50050.

An Post:

An Post is a major commercial organisation providing a wide range of services encompassing postal, communications, financial and retail facilities.  It is one of Ireland’s largest companies directly employing over 9,500 people across the state.  An Post handles more than 2.5 million items of mail each day, using a road fleet of 3,000 vehicles to ensure daily mail deliveries to 1.6 million business and residential addresses.   The company also operates an unrivalled national network of more than 1170 post offices.