Small steps - Member stories - 26TEN Week 2021

26TEN members share their small steps, big changes

26TEN Week 2021

26TEN members share their small steps, big changes - 26TEN Week 2021

26TEN member - Tastex Knitwear

Tastex Knitwear's small step to meet with the Foundations Skills team at Work and Training led to them applying for a 26TEN grant.

We have always encouraged our Supported Employees to participate in the literacy service provided by Libraries Tasmania, but we wanted to explore new ways to help them improve their skills.  Work and Training helped us secure 26TEN funding to run a literacy and numeracy project at our workplace, a safe and familiar environment.

One small step, so many big changes

Our Supported Employees worked with an Adult Literacy Skills Officer to improve their reading, writing and maths skills. The new skills have allowed them to:

  • feel more confident doing their job
  • recognise and understand workplace vocabulary
  • understand key concepts of the industry Code of Conduct
  • recognise and understand vocabulary in community advocacy publications.

Importantly, increased literacy skills and understanding has enabled the Supported Employees to better protect their rights to privacy and to recognise abuse.  They are better able to identify quality support and people who can assist them to be safe.

Supported Employees shared their learning at monthly Workers' Committee meetings. This was great for their confidence and helped reduce the stigma often associated with having low literacy.

By participating in the 26TEN project, many Supported Employees have made their first measurable improvements in their literacy and numeracy since starting work at Tastex Knitwear. 

Positive impact on the workplace

Supported Employees participated enthusiastically in learning activities and there has been an overall positive impact on our workplace. One of our staff members is training to be a literacy volunteer. Our success has led to us gaining another 26TEN Employer grant.   

We have also become a member of the 26TEN Member Network and look forward to continuing to assist our Supported Employees to improve their literacy, work and life skills.

Vicki Hawker – Tastex Knitwear

26TEN member Huon AquacultureHuon Aquaculture took the small step of visiting the 26TEN website to find out about funding to improve skills in their business

We had heard about 26TEN funding and wanted to find out more. So, we visited the 26TEN website and then contacted 26TEN and worked with Jen to apply for the 26TEN Employer Grant Program. We were successful and used our grant to employ an Adult Literacy Skills Officer (ALSO) who provided reading, writing, maths and digital support to our employees.

The first year of funding was so valuable to Huon and employees that we applied for a second grant. We were again successful and Anne, our ALSO, continued to provide support to employees to improve their literacy skills across Marine Operations. 

Although the funding has finished, Huon Aquaculture continues to fund the ALSO and provides support to employees wishing to improve their reading, writing and maths skills. Having a 26TEN program means that employees receive one on one support to help them grow.

Small steps make big changes for employees and the business

There have been so many benefits from our program, but the biggest impact is the result it has had on the participants' lives. There shouldn't be a stigma around receiving help in reading, writing and maths and knowing that we are helping our employees within and outside of work is the biggest reward for us.

Natalie Chee Quee – Huon Aquaculture

Council on the Ageing Tasmania - 26TEN member

Council on the Ageing took a small step and updated their 26TEN Action Plan

We had been a 26TEN Network Member for a few years, and it was time to update our 26TEN Action Plan. We met with 26TEN to discuss some options for our COTA network and our new Work 45+ information service. Part of our work includes helping older jobseekers to develop the skills they need to obtain employment. This of course, includes literacy and numeracy.

We have now worked with 26TEN to update our Work 45+ website to include up to date 26TEN literacy and numeracy information. We've also spread the message widely to our network and older community through our various channels. All our staff and our network now know where to go to get help with reading, and maths, and can help older people make the most of available learning opportunities.

We've also spread health literacy and plain English messages widely among Tasmanian health providers so that people find it easier to understand important health information. We look forward to continuing to take small steps to help the older Tasmanian community improve their lives through 26TEN.

Lyn McGaurr – Council on the Ageing


Duggans - 26TEN member organisationDuggans took the small step to fill in an application form to join the 26TEN Network.

Our first step was to join the 26TEN Network and develop our own 26TEN Action Plan. In the Action Plan, we committed to supporting our employees to improve their literacy, numeracy and digital skills.

We were about to make a big transition to online operations and knew it was likely that low literacy, numeracy, and digital skills would be an issue for many of our employees. So, we worked with 26TEN to gain an Employer Grant and employees received reading, writing, maths and digital training to help them use their new devices. They were also trained to fill in forms and checklists online and report in real time from the field.

Big changes at work and at home

The project was a success and surprised many of the employees in how it changed both their work and personal lives for the better. It also improved safety, productivity and engagement throughout the business.

Brent Hardy – Duggans