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In November 2011, the COAG Standing Council on Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment (SCOTESE) agreed to a National Foundation Skills Strategy for Adults (the National Strategy). Australian governments have worked in partnership to develop the National Strategy, a 10 year strategy built around a shared vision for a productive and inclusive Australia in which adults develop and maintain the foundation skills they need to participate confidently in the modern economy and meet the complex demands of modern life.

The National Strategy focuses on improving outcomes for working age Australians (aged 15-64 years) with a view to moving more people to higher levels, but with a particular focus on those with low levels of foundation skill proficiency. Australian governments have set an aspirational target for the National Strategy that by 2022, two thirds of working age Australians will have literacy and numeracy skills at Level 3 or above.

The Strategy was officially launched on 28 September 2012 by the Hon Sharon Bird MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Higher Education and Skills.

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