Royal support for literacy and business programme

​On Thursday, March 20th, HRH The Duchess of Cornwall joined secondary school pupils and KPMG senior leadership team to witness the impact of businesses in improving young people’s literacy skills at a National Literacy Trust event in City Academy, Hackney.

The Duchess, the Trust’s patron, saw how the charity’s Words for Work programme tackles youth unemployment by increasing literacy among young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. Camilla viewed an exhibition of students’ work as part of their training, and viewed a role-play interview in which National Literacy Trust Ambassador Apprentice adviser Nick Hewer was quizzed by Academy students, honing the skills they had learnt with the programme.

Words for Work was created as a direct response to concerns among businesses about the lack of communication skills and work readiness among young people. The programme tackles youth unemployment by bringing business volunteers into schools to work alongside Year 9 pupils, raise their confidence and aspirations and give them the literacy skills they need to get a job. The programme has impressive results with 2013 statistics recording that 82% students communicated better and 100% felt more confident about themselves and their future.

Jonathan Douglas, Director of the National Literacy Trust said:

“Words for Work bridges a gap between businesses and schools to increase literacy levels, harness children’s ambitions and set them on the road to a successful future in the world of work. We are delighted to celebrate the achievements of students from around the country who have developed crucial employability skills and confidence from the programme.”

Mark Emmerson, Principal of The City Academy, Hackney said:

“The Academy is delighted to be participating in Words for Work. Strong communication skills are vital to our students’ success and building professional partnerships – as we have with our joint sponsor KPMG – helps students see the practical value of their learning link directly to their career aspirations.”