Illiteracy And The Internet

For many years companies have complained about the poor levels of reading, writing, and numeracy among our young people seeking work. Most are nowadays considered totally unemployable for all but the most mundane of tasks.

Charles Duncombe

Now a major ‘online’ entrepreneur has added his ten cents worth, and I believe it hammers home the message. Mr. Charles Duncombe, who is director of Just Say Please Group, has come forward to say that the low levels of literacy in the UK are now hitting the web-based sales market to the tune of millions of pounds a year.

He said:”I know that industry bemoaning the education system is nothing new, but it is becoming more and more of a problem with more companies going online. This is because when you sell or communicate on the internet 99% of the time it is done by the written word.”

At Least Dorothy Perkins Hires Semi-Literates

According to him, the problem is bad spelling on websites that put off potential customers who may think the site is bogus or untrustworthy. When recruiting staff for his company he was “shocked at the poor quality of written english“.

Giving an example of the impact on internet sales, he had measured sales per visitor on his ‘’ site and found sales jumped significantly after a spelling mistake had been corrected. He said: “If you project this across the whole of internet retail then millions of pounds worth of business is probably being lost each week due to simple spelling mistakes,”

If You Don’t Know, There’s No Point In Telling You. Duh!

Mr. Duncombe was astounded at the poor levels of spelling and grammar from both school and university graduates. When writing a curriculum some even used ‘text speak’ (i.e. replacing the word ‘for’ with 4 for example). He went on to say that given a simple spelling test, most were hopelessly inadequate without access to a computer spellchecker.

Even our last Prime Minister was afflicted. Gordon Brown was a notoriously poor writer, due supposedly to his bad eyesight. In a letter to the family of a soldier killed in Afghanistan he made several mistakes which led to arguments over who should check his correspondence before it was sent.

The CBI’s head of education and skills, James Fothergill,  echoed Charles Duncombe’s statement by saying, ‘he was shocked at the number of companies who feel it necessary to give extra literacy classes to potential recruits just to get them up to the required level of competence. He said:  “Our recent research shows that 42% of employers are not satisfied with the basic reading and writing skills of school and college leavers and almost half have had to invest in remedial training to get their staff’s skills up-to-scratch”.

It looks very much like this will be the pattern in the future for UK companies, and it will not end until the education system is sorted out. It is not necessarily the fault of the youth themselves, for they have been let down badly by the education system as a whole, which has steadily declined in excellence since the 1950’s. Now, even the teachers could not pass an old-style exam for literacy and numeracy. It’s the blind leading the blind!

Says It All Really!

When you consider that over a hundred years ago this country began the Industrial Revolution, and fifty years ago we had the best scientists in the world, today’s picture is more than grim. Both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown have much to answer for, for there is little doubt they have destroyed the very foundations of our country (i.e our education system) by turning the majority of people into semi-literates with no prospect of decent employment.

The Dole Queue-The Future For Britain’s Dumb Youth

This is already starting to impact our Benefits System with an ever-increasing number of young people on the dole, and it will get worse until it becomes unsustainable.

From now on it looks like the United Kingdom will have to rely on immigrants for brains!


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