Employers who take practical action to boost employees’ literacy and numeracy will be recognised for the first time in this year’s EEO Trust Work & Life Awards.
The Skills Highway Award, backed by the Department of Labour (DoL), will acknowledge employers who help staff improve their reading, writing and maths.
Research shows that more than 40 percent of New Zealanders don’t have the literacy and numeracy necessary to understand many of the written documents or maths needed in the workplace.
Studies also suggest that employees who are helped to improve their skills become more productive, make fewer errors, and enjoy boost in self-esteem, says Philippa Reed, chief executive of the EEO Trust.
“These skills are critical in tough economic times, when productivity and engagement are more important than ever.”
The DoL’s upskilling programme director Jenny Thornton says, “Staff and employers tell us how valuable literacy and numeracy programmes are both at work and in the home, and the Skills Highway Award will help raise awareness of their long-term benefits to business.”
The DoL’s upskilling service has worked with more than 60 employers to bring literacy training to more than 3000 staff in the past two years, in areas as diverse as baking in Auckland and hotel management in Queenstown.
The Skills Highway Award is open to all organisations running such programmes, whether or not these have been supported by DoL, and joins six other categories in the EEO Trust Work & Life Awards 2009. The deadline for entries is July 23, with awards presented on Thursday October 29 at the Auckland War Memorial Museum.
Reed says the focus of this year’s awards is the link between valuing people and creating value. “Employees who feel valued display commitment and loyalty – the attributes that help build creative, robust businesses which can survive difficult economic times.”
Valuing diversity is key to fostering staff engagement. “New Zealand workplaces are increasingly diverse,” Reed says. “We are older, younger, more culturally and ethnically diverse and we have more diverse family and whanau structures. More of us participate in the workforce and for longer than previous generations.
“The EEO Trust Work & Life Awards celebrate organisations that make the most of their diverse workforce.”
Past winners include many of New Zealand’s most influential companies, such as New Zealand Post Group, Air New Zealand and ANZ National Bank, as well as smaller organisations such as Comvita New Zealand, the Franklin Kindergarten Association and Mt Albert Pak’NSave.

For more information on the awards, see the EEO Trust website. Visited 2 times, 1 visit(s) today

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