Shaping national literacy policy and building business support with KPMG

Vision for Literacy Business Pledge graphic

We have been working with KPMG to drive literacy policy development and increase business engagement in driving up literacy levels since 2013.

The relationship evolved from a charity of the year partnership in 2013 which saw us launch a major report on Youth Literacy and Employability through the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Literacy. The report revealed a significant gap between literacy levels among school leavers with employers’ expectations and was launched in Parliament in 2013.

KPMG then sponsored the Vision for Literacy 2025, a manifesto of the National Literacy Forum (18 literacy and child poverty charities) which was launched in parliament in October 2014 with cross-party support.

This led to the development of the Vision for Literacy Business Pledge, a framework for businesses to take action to improve literacy levels in their local community, within their workforce and at a national level. KPMG advised on the development of the pledge and was one of the first signatories. The pledge and our partnership work was profiled at high level panel events at the Conservative and Labour Party Conferences in 2015 with speakers including the then Secretary of State for Education, Nicky Morgan, and then Shadow Education Secretary, Lucy Powell.

In 2016, 44 businesses signed up to pledge, which increased to 51 in 2017. Business signatories include KPMG, Facebook, Amazon, the Football Association, Costa Coffee, Sainsbury's and British Land.

The Vision for Literacy Business Pledge was shortlisted at the 2016 Third Sector Business Charity Awards for an outstanding partnership between charities and businesses and KPMG continue to play a key advisory role in its implementation.

"As a Social Mobility Business Compact Champion and a core partner of the National Literacy Trust, we are proud to use our influencing ability to shape the national literacy policy debate. Literacy is a core skill and a fundamental enabler of social mobility, yet the attainment of our young people continually lags behind that of their global counterparts and businesses are suffering the consequences of this."

Roisin Murphy, Head of Corporate Responsibility at KPMG