A new study has quantified the economic benefit for Tasmania of investing in improving adult literary and numeracy.
According to 26TEN, a network of organisations working to improve adult literacy and numeracy, 48 per cent of Tasmanians do not have the skills they need for life in a technologically-rich world.
The study, commissioned by 26TEN and led by Institute of Project Management executive director Paul Muller, found based on an investment of $5.3 million, the socio-economic value created by the 26TEN Tasmania Strategy in 2018-19 was at least $27.2 million.
"The return represents the sum of productivity benefits enjoyed by employers, worth $22.3 million, and civic benefits enjoyed by individuals worth $4.9 million," Mr Muller said.
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"To put it in economic terms, we have illustrated how investment in adult literacy improves individual and community states of physical, human, social and symbolic capital."
Mr Muller said by quantifying 26TEN's contribution, the study was providing information and advice to help stakeholders make strategic decisions about allocating resources.
"This is the preferred approach by government to evaluating policy choices," he said.
"It's important that all Tasmanians, not just policy makers, can be confident that building literacy and numeracy skills in adults across the state not only benefits those adults but also their families, and our communities and workplaces."
26TEN manager Sue Costello said the study was invaluable for the ongoing work of improving literacy in Tasmania.
"The work that needs to be done to lift adult literary rates in Tasmania relies on the commitment of all levels of government, businesses, community organisations, volunteers and the adult learners themselves," Ms Costello said.
"Now we can show them that their commitment is making a significant difference, and that's fantastic."
Ms Costello said 26TEN was proud to have commissioned the study which was the first of its kind in Australia and one of the first worldwide.
She said while the money 26TEN received was vital, its work could not be carried out without the organisations and people who contributed their time and effort.
"This is the philosophy 26TEN is built on - we have to work together to make a difference," Ms Costello said.