Authors: T. Scott Murray
Collection: Learning Materials
This is the second of four sections of a video presentation by T. Scott Murray, president of DataAngel Policy Research, which collaborated with Bow Valley College in Calgary, Alberta, to produce the series.
Murray points out that differences in literacy rates are the single biggest determinant of how rapidly the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will grow. The larger the proportion of low skilled workers, the lower the economic growth rate.
The prescription for raising that growth rate is to raise the average skill level of the population. The most efficient way of raising the average skill level is by improving the skills of the least skilled.
Murray notes that governments in Canada invest heavily in creating skills through the public school system, postsecondary education, and adult education and training. On the other hand, governments do almost nothing to create demand for skills. Canada needs policies that raise skill demand because it is those high-skilled jobs that provide stable employment.
As well, public policy should be directed towards developing tools to identify existing skill levels and to offer remedial assistance to those who need it.