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Partner Profile: Reading and Writing Foundation

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Stichting Lezen en Schrijven (Reading & Writing Foundation) is a Dutch non-profit organisation committed to ensure that everyone in the Netherlands can read, write, calculate and use a computer or smartphone. They aim to reduce and prevent low literacy in the country , while contributing to accessible communications and services from governments and companies.

Digital Upskilling 4 Work: training employees with low literacy levels in social and sheltered companies to give them enhanced job opportunities:

In The Netheralnds, around 2.5 million adults, 18% of the population over 16 years old, is low literate. Amongst those, 30% of them lack basic digital skills. This has a direct impact on their position in the labour market: they are often more likely to be unemployed, or have more barriers in finding jobs.

The Digital Upskilling 4 Work project tackles this urgent neeed to upskill and reskills this low literate workforce. Indeed, if a person has difficulties in reading, writing, calculation and math, this impacts his/her information skills. Not only they are unable to navigate the internet for personal purposes, but they also face direct effect on the work floor. They are not able to use company apps or register their hours or sickness days online. Ultimately, this decreases their chances in finding a decent job with a long-term contract. 

The project trains employees in 5 different social and sheltered companies across the country. These companies offer different types of employment: sheltered workshops where people with disabilities work in a protected environment; supported employment where people work at a regular employer with support from a job coach; and work integration social entreprises.

This digital skills training is offered in-house, on a period of 10 weeks:

  • First, individuals skills level are screened through an online screening instrument Digimeter. This is accompanied by a dialogue between the employee and the team managers, supervisor or HR.
  • Second, the employee is suggested tailored learning pathways which matches their skills level and neeeds, through a Menu Card. It provides 3 to 4 learning tracks, with a mixture of classical, online and blended learning.

The curriculum is based on the needs of people who have difficulty in reading, which means it is different than a traditional digital literacy curriculum. Employees start at a very low level, and they trained to progress to DigComp proficiency level 1.

The program will be running from September 2022 to July 2023.

If you want to know more about the project, you can visit their website or contact the Project Lead Michiel Sträter at .