- 1. Literacy and Essential Skills for the Canadian Labour Market Presentation to the OCASI Professional Development Conference Toronto, ON,June 20-22, 2011
- The Office of Literacy and Essential Skills
- Mission, Mandate and Focus
- Literacy and Essential Skills
- Definition, Benefits, Newcomer Context
- National Dialogue on Immigrant LES
- Literacy and Essential Skills Tools
- Categorization and Examples
- Tailoring Approaches to Learners Needs
Outline 2 3. Office of Literacy and Essential Skills (OLES) RESEARCH PROGRAMMING Researching LES issues TOOLS Development and dissemination PARTNERSHIPS Mandate:OLES is a centre of expertise with a labour market focus, building awareness and capacity in what works for improving the literacy and essential skills of adult Canadians. Funds projects through Grants & Contributions With OGDs, PTs, non-profit organizations OLES does this through : OLES is part ofHuman Resources and Skills Development Canada(HRSDC) 4. Understanding Literacy & Essential Skills Reading Writing Document Use Numeracy Computer Use Thinking Oral Communication Working with Others Continuous Learning
- Literacy and Essential Skills:
- are needed for work, learning and life;
- are the foundation for learning all other skills;
- help people evolve with their jobs and adapt toworkplace change.
- These skills are used in nearly every job and throughout daily life in different ways and at varying levels of complexity .
4 Literacy Essential Skills 5.
- Benefits for Individuals:
- Increased job opportunities
- Greater employee retention
Why Are Literacy and Essential Skills Important? 6. Context
- Within the immigrant population low literacy is disproportionately high
- 60%of recent and established immigrants lack the necessary skills to function in a knowledge based economy, compared to37%of the Canadian-born population.
- Despite having high levels of education, recent immigrants are more likely than Canadian-born workers to have lower earnings: 67% earn less than $20/hour as compared to 43% of Canadian-born.
- Official language fluency andliteracy skillsare identified by both immigrants and employers as being primary barriers to immigrant labor market integration.
- In a global economy, a highly skilled population is an asset and fundamental to economic growth (Statistics Canada, 2008)
Strong literacy and essential skills are a prerequisite to learning new skills and ensuring effective transitions into the labour market 7.
- OLES worked together withCitizenship and Immigration Canada(CIC) and held three events in 2010.
- Executive Directors and heads of key stakeholder organizations (service providers, academic institutions, employers and literacy organizations) from across Canada were engaged in a discussion to identify LES issues and barriers facing immigrants.
- Practitioners Fora (Calgary and Toronto)
- Brought together practitioners from key stakeholder organizations to begin to develop practical solutions to address the issues addressed by the roundtable.
National Dialogue on Immigrants and LES 8.
- Safeway is a large grocery store chain in W. Canada that is involved in various innovative initiatives to hire, retain and promote newcomers in various positions within their company.
- Immigrants are important to its labour force growth.
- English Skills may not be sufficient for the position.
- Non-verbal communication skills in a Canadian context may be lacking.
- Government, Service Providers, and Educational Institutions can play a vital role by:
- developing tools/ practices to assist with the integration of new immigrants;
- ensuring that programs provide immigrants with the skills that are in demand in the workplace
Findings: An Employers Perspective 9.
- South Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT)
- SAIT is a polytechnic in Calgary that has also developed innovative LES initiatives for newcomers
- Steady increase in SAIT L2 learners - up to a 50% increase in some programs .
- Oral Communication (including pronunciation), use of sector-specific vocabulary, writing skills,cultural knowledge related to the workplace (includes non-verbal communication).
- This lack of skills creates barriers not only to success in school but ultimately in entering the workforce.
Findings : An Educational Institutions Perspective 10. Literacy and Essential Skills Tools
- Free and easy-to-use tools that can address different
- Can be used by various audiences: Teachers/Trainers/ Career Counsellors, Individuals (Job Seekers & Workers), Employers and HR Professionals, Apprentices & Tradespersons
- Can be self-administered or delivered through
- practitioners such as career counsellors,
11. Tool Categories
- Tools to better understand your LES strengths and weaknesses
- LEARNING & TRAINING SUPPORTS
- Tools to improve LES levels
- Information about how LES are used in the trades