The International Adult Literacy Survey Results
In 1990, Statistics Canada released the results of the Survey of Literacy Skills Used in Daily Activities (LSUDA), a 1989 Canada-wide survey of the reading skills of adults. In 1992, the then Ontario Ministry of Education reported on the LSUDA results for Ontario (Stan Jones, Survey of Adult Literacy in Ontario).
Shortly after the release of the LSUDA results in Canada and those of the National Adult Literacy Survey in the United States, interest in a comparative international study of adult literacy began to grow. In December 1995, the first results of the 1994 survey of adult literacy in seven countries, the International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS), were reported in Literacy, Economy and Society, a joint publication of Statistics Canada and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. In September 1996, Statistics Canada released Reading the Future: A Portrait of Literacy in Canada, a report on the national data collected in IALS.
To measure literacy in IALS, respondents answered a set of test questions designed to measure adult reading skills as well as background questions about their education, work experience and literacy practices.
Ontario participated in the survey in order to gain key data to inform policy development and to focus its literacy programming. The present report covers in detail the IALS results for Ontario. It updates and supplements the previous report, Survey of Adult Literacy in Ontario. It is organized much as the previous report with a table, graph and commentary for each of the major literacy relationships. Throughout the text, shaded boxes provide background information. Usually the tables provide results for three scales -- prose, document and quantitative -- but the graphs are used to point to particularly interesting results in part of the data.
Series: WWestNet's The bottom line
This issue includes articles on a symposium held in Calgary to consider the results of the Canadian component of the International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS); plans for a workplace literacy forum to be held in Yellowknife; and the link between literacy retention and workplace literacy demands.
Another article challenges myths about literacy, including the view that literacy and education are synonymous; the belief that immigration is a significant contributor to literacy problems in Canada; and the idea that literacy skills, once learned, are never lost.
Series: WWestNet's The bottom line
This issue includes an article on the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour’s Worker’s Education for Skills Training (WEST) program, which received a Training for Excellence award from the Saskatchewan Labour Force Development Board.
Another article deals with the lack of awareness of workplace essential skills revealed by the Linkage Project undertaken by Workplace Education Manitoba.
Further articles focus on a conference on plain language; an analysis of functional context education; and a needs assessment being carried out at Calgary food production plants.
Series: Awareness Tools - HRSDC
Canadian organizations are becoming increasingly aware that they need to maximize the skills of their work force in order to compete and grow, which often means enhancing or refreshing their employees’ essential skills. In this document, the authors present five cases studies involving organizations that faced specific essential skills challenges. The case studies discussed here examine outstanding workplace education programs and initiatives. They highlight best practices in developing essential skills in the workplace and provide an overview of benefits, outcomes and impacts of essential skills training. Learning partners include schools, colleges, universities, workplaces, communities and governments.
Also included in this publication is a 10-step guide to implementing essential skills learning programs in the workplace. It provides information and advice to employers and their learning partners on ways to address challenges.
Lessons in Learning - March 15, 2007
Series: Lessons in Learning
Authors: Canadian Council on Learning (CCL)
The authors of this paper argue that without a strong commitment to and investment in workplace learning, Canada might not have enough workers with the necessary skills to meet future economic challenges.
Canada is falling behind its competitors in ensuring the ongoing workforce training and development, they note. While governments and others can provide support, increasing employer investment in workplace learning and skills development is critical for Canada’s future economic success.
Among the ideas put forward to increase employer investment in workplace learning are a tax credit for firms to encourage investment in training; a training fund, with matching contributions from firms and government; a national training levy; job protection for those who leave to further their training; and greater government support for Literacy and Essential Skills training, as a public good.
The authors also encourage increased support for sector councils and sectoral initiatives, and for the pooling of resources and expertise, especially for small- and medium-sized enterprises; increase awareness of the return on investment that raining offers; and active advocacy by business organizations to encourage a training culture.
Immigration & Skill Shortages
Authors: Canadian Labour and Business Centre
This CLBC Handbook includes:
- Trends in Immigration;
- Immigration as a Source of Skills; and
- Labour Market Integration ~ Issues and Challenges for New Immigrants.
Immigrants have always played a vital role in Canada, shaping our culture, our communities and contributing to our economic success. This handbook is about the role of immigration in meeting the national skills challenge facing Canada. What is the skills challenge? It is ensuring that Canada's standard of living and future opportunities for economic success and prosperity are not jeopardized by a lack of needed skills, or limited by the inability of individuals to put skills to use. It's about individual Canadians being equipped with the right skills, and having the resources and capacities to expand and update skills on an on-going basis.
The Learning Paths of Low Skilled Workers
In this booklet in the Connecting Research with Policy series, three key findings relating to learning and low-skilled workers are described. Below each finding, a brief paragraph entitled "policy implication" discusses what the key finding means in terms of workplace policies. The key findings discussed in this document are summarized as follows:
1- Workplace literacy and essential skills programs are catalysts for further learning at work.
2 - Employees with low skills can easily identify the types of informal workplace learning that happens from day-to-day.
3- Workers learn differently in formal training programs than they do when learning informally in their daily work.
CPRN Research Report
Canadian Policy Research Networks began the Pathways project in an attempt to shed more light on the paths young people take through school to the labour market and on the institutional and policy arrangements and values that support or hinder successful pathways. Through this project they hope to develop policy options that would improve young people's ability to identify, select and navigate pathways that lead to rewarding and productive lives. This is the eighth study that has been published in the series.
This particular paper focuses on "demand-side" issues in the youth labour market, how employer demand is conveyed to students and those who support them, and how well the skills that young people gain are utilized on the job.This report is based on a literature review, analyses of survey data and key informant interviews. It includes an executive summary, introduction, methodology section, listing of key websites and the following main chapters:
- The Use and Limitations of Occupational Projections
- Skill Utilization and Skill Development in the Workplace
- The Role of Employers in the School-to-Work Transition
- Policy Implications and Research Gaps
Authors: The Conference Board of Canada
This pamphlet by The Conference Board of Canada introduces Employability Skills 2000+, a program that emphasizes the critical skills employees need in the workplace. These skills include communication, problem solving, positive attitudes and behaviours, adaptability, working with others, and science, technology and mathematics skills. This pamphlet describes each of these skills and how they can be used in the workplace and beyond. This pamphlet also introduces the Employability Skills Toolkit for the Self-Managing Learner, a practical kit that has been designed to help employees improve their employability skills.
For more information, visit The Conference Board of Canada website at http://www.conferenceboard.ca
The focus of Essential Skills and the Northern Oil and Gas Workforce was on effective training with a particular emphasis on the role of essential skills enhancement in the development of the northern workforce. It was hoped that this conference would help to raise awareness of essential skills and provide a jumping off point for increased essential skills integration in education and workplace training programs.