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This research paper summarises the findings of the research from the last decade in 6 areas to help the department in its forward planning for the literacy and numeracy skills. It assesses the evidence base and identifies gaps and recommends ways that the evidence base can be improved. It also attempts to interpret the evidence base to suggest how returns to adult learning and numeracy (ALN) learning for individuals, employers and wider society might be increased through effective and cost-effective interventions.