Shaping national literacy policy and building business support with KPMG

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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 2019, 74 businesses signed up to the Business Pledge, a 46% increase in the number of businesses committing their support since 2016. Business signatories include KPMG, Amazon, Facebook, McDonald’s, British Land and the Premier League.

This year we will be supporting businesses to target their resources where they can make the biggest difference to the UK’s literacy challenge – in the early years. KPMG continue to play a key advisory role in the implementation of the Vision for Literacy Business Pledge.

"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