Around one-third of British businesses have experienced problems with literacy and numeracy among their staff, according to a survey by the University of Nottingham.
As many as 38 per cent of employers who responded to the monthly internet survey said that they have encountered literacy problems among their employees frequently or relatively frequently, while 30 per cent said the same of numeracy problems.
A similar survey of business advisers, meanwhile, revealed that 30 per cent had had numeracy and literacy issues raised frequently or relatively frequently by clients.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, 43 per cent of the businesses surveyed said that they thought the government should provide basic skills training for employees.
Lord Leitch's report on education and skills which was released yesterday (Tuesday) warned that if the UK did not increase its skills base, it faced a decline in competitiveness and economic growth.
"Skills were once a key lever for prosperity and fairness. Skills are now increasingly the key lever," Lord Leitch wrote.