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News story

UK businesses pledge to tackle nation’s literacy crisis in 2018

24 Jan 2018

Business Pledge

63 leading businesses have signed the Vision for Literacy Business Pledge 2018 to join the fight to tackle the UK’s literacy crisis which costs the economy £2.5 billion every year. Signatories of the pledge will look to target their resources where they can make the biggest difference to the UK’s literacy challenge – in the early years. 

Established in 2015 by the National Literacy Forum, which is led by us, the Vision for Literacy Business Pledge has boosted the reading, writing speaking and listening skills of some of the most disadvantaged children, young people and families in the UK. 

Throughout the year, businesses including Amazon, Facebook, KPMG, McDonald’s and the Premier League will be supported to address the literacy problems that exist within their workforces, in the local communities where they have a presence, and on a national level. 

Last year, founding signatory KPMG supported the literacy of more than 500 deprived children with 150 of its employees volunteering 1,000 hours of their time on literacy activities. What’s more, the pledge provided direct benefits for the businesses involved, with 91% reporting increased employee engagement, morale and motivation and 64% highlighting an improvement in team working skills.

Over the past three years, the pledge has seen a 46% increase in the number of businesses committing their support. Amongst the new signatories for 2018 are household names John Lewis, Clarks and Metro Bank. The pledge also has the backing of the Department for Education.

"Over the past decade, more than 500,000 disadvantaged children started school without the reading, writing and communication skills they need to succeed in education, work and life – their futures cut short before they even started. But with the backing of UK business, we have the power to transform these young lives through literacy. We are delighted to be working with so many fantastic businesses who, throughout the year, will demonstrate their commitment to creating a society where talented children and young people – no matter what their background – have the same opportunities to fulfil their potential."

Jonathan Douglas, Director of the National Literacy Trust

Find out more about the Vision for Literacy Business Pledge.
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