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LLN – It’s literally a great idea


You can employ wonderful people with a great attitude and the right skills for the job. But if English is a second language for these employees, what they might appreciate is a course in literacy skills to strengthen their communication and help them feel much more part of the team.

One of Wellington’s most popular hotels proves this point perfectly.

CQ Hotel in the capital’s vibrant Cuba quarter employs 82 staff in a wide range of roles, from management, front of house, kitchen, café, restaurant and bar service through to housekeeping.

The successful business, which consistently attracts four and five-star user reviews on sites like TripAdvisor, is driven by a strong commitment to employee development.

As well as training employees on-job in skills for specific roles, such as an apprentice chef or housekeeper, the hotel provides support in other important areas, such as Literacy, Language and Numeracy (LLN) training that benefit employees and business.

Last year, the business sought ServiceIQ’s help to get funding for LLN training with a focus on literacy skills, for up to eight employees for whom English is a second language.

News of the offer attracted an overwhelmingly favourable response from employees, says CQ Hotel Human Resources Administrator Bonnie O’Donnell.

“Our people were ecstatic,” says Bonnie. “I was a little concerned as it is common for some people to feel a little self-conscious about their literacy needs. Instead, we received great feedback.”

The starter programme for the group included eight, two-hour sessions learning essential basics including: vocabulary, past and present tense, and how to form sentences.

They also looked at the hotel’s procedures and documentation to help make sure people had a good understanding of important processes such as health and safety,” says Bonnie.

Although it was a relatively short introductory course, the benefits have been worthwhile says Bonnie.

“Our people are more confident and can converse more easily at work and at home. They understand English in the workplace and at home better than before, and generally they are much more able to interact and be involved.”

Do you need LLN training support for your employees?

Employers can get ServiceIQ’s advice and help to apply for funding to set up in-house literacy, numeracy and dyslexia learning programmes for your employees completing ServiceIQ on-job training programmes. You can also get ServiceIQ’s assistance with assessing a trainee’s needs and help to get them on board with self-paced online learning programmes. ServiceIQ’s LLN support service is free of charge for businesses training employees on-job with ServiceIQ programmes. 

If your business uses ServiceIQ on-job training programmes and think one or some of your employees could benefit from LLN support, please contact ServiceIQ on 0800 863 693 or email

For more information about Adult Literacy and Numeracy go to this link: Adult Literacy and Numeracy and read the Language, Literacy and Numeracy Plan here