Presentation Details

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Eleventh International Literacy and Education Research Network Conference on Learning

Development of the AlaN Profiles

Lorraine Sushames, Professor Ian Falk, Ruth Wallace.

In Australia’s Northern Territory in 2002 there were approximately 2300 people currently undertaking traineeships and apprenticeships. Of these 24% identified as Indigenous. Research data indicates that an alarming 30% of these dropped out of their contracts of training during the year. Inadequate levels of English Language, Literacy and Numeracy (LL&N) have been identified as one of the most significant causal factors in trainee’s inability to sustain their contracts of training.

As a small economy the socio economic impact of losing close to one third of the potential trained Indigenous workforce will be significant if these trends are allowed to continue. In response a strategy to address the language literacy and numeracy barriers faced by Indigenous trainees and Apprentices in remote, regional and urban communities was developed by the Northern Territory government.

The first stage of implementation involves a pilot project to develop and trial an LL&N assessment kit in 3 remote Indigenous communities. Data collected will benchmark the LL&N competencies of these trainees so that targeted support can be provided with the objective of increasing retention, supporting participants and to facilitate the completion of training to become qualified. Stage 2 of the strategy will involve much larger numbers across the NT. This paper considers the development of Stage 1 of this project and documents the findings from the initial series of LL&N assessments undertaken.


Lorraine Sushames  (Australia)
Faculty of Indigenous Research and Education
Northern Territory University

Professor Ian Falk  (Australia)
Chair of Rural and Remote Education
School of Education, Faculty of Education, Health and Science
Charles Darwin University

Ian Falk holds the Chair of Rural and Remote Education in the Faculty of Education, Health and Science (EHS) at Charles Darwin University, Darwin, NT. From 1997-2001 he was Director of a national Key Centre for Research and Learning in Regional Australia (CRLRA) at the University of Tasmania for six years, and held various roles before that including Sub-Dean of Adult and Vocational Education. Professor Falk’s research is in issues related to education, formal and informal learning policy and practice, with a national and international track record in sociology, social and community development and well-being, social capital research, learning communities, regions and cities, in policy development, theory and practice, adult literacy, socio-linguistics and ethnomethodology.

Ruth Wallace  (Australia)

Charles Darwin University

  • Pilot project
  • Indigenous
  • Literacy and Numeracy
  • Remote regions

(60 min. Workshop, English)