ABC Life Literacy Canada déclare le 23 septembre Journée des compétences essentielles

ABC Life Literacy Canada déclare le 23 septembre Journée des compétences essentielles

L'organisme canadien ABC Life Literacy Canada a décidé de déclarer que le 23 septembre serait la journée des compétences essentielles. Pour l'occasion, il invite les gens, et particulièrement ceux du secteur privé,  à visionner en ligne la conférence de Craig Alexander, économiste en chef et vice-président de la banque TD,  sur l'état de la littératie au Canada et les coûts qui y sont reliés. Cette conférence intitulée The Cost of Literacy: Investing in your Workforce aura lieu le 23 septembre à 20h30 (HE) sur le canal web de ABC Life Literacy Canada.

> Visionner la conférence

Communiqué (version originale anglaise)

Essential Skills Day Proclaimed

ABC Life Literacy Canada proclaims inaugural Essential Skills Day

Aimed to educate and inspire private sector on value of literacy to workplace and economy, TD Bank Chief Economist critically addresses subject on live broadcast this Thursday

(Toronto, ON – September 22, 2010) – ABC Life Literacy Canada is pleased to proclaim September 23rd as the inaugural Essential Skills Day.

Essential Skills Day is highlighted by a keynote address from Craig Alexander, Senior Vice-President and Chief Economist, TD Bank Financial Group, addressing the state of literacy in Canada and the economic costs being incurred by low literacy levels. The Cost of Literacy: Investing in your Workforce addresses the reality that a skilled and literate workforce means a more competitive Canada. Everyone can tune into the event at starting at 8:30 p.m. ET on Thursday, September 23.

ABC Life Literacy Canada will also be celebrating the day with a social media campaign engaging individuals to tell us about their workplace education experiences.

“Most businesses underestimate the importance of literacy. Higher literacy skills lead to increased output, higher productivity, greater ability for on-the-job training, reduced workplace accidents and better employee retention – ultimately, leading to higher profitability,” explains Alexander, whose keynote address is part of The Canadian Society for Training and Development’s Learn@Work Week.

New research conducted last month by Ipsos Reid showed that approximately 95% of Canadians agree that literacy training is critical to improving job prospects for Canadians.

“Shining a spotlight on the nine essential skills as defined by the Government of Canada (reading, document use, numeracy, writing, oral communication, working with others, thinking, computer use and continuous learning), and helping businesses see the value in offering workplace programs targeted to improving these skills ensures that we are positioning ourselves to remain competitive in the global economy and giving all employees the tools to remain engaged and active in the workplace,” said Margaret Eaton, ABC Life Literacy Canada President.

In an increasingly competitive global marketplace, improving Canada’s national economic well-being depends on a highly-skilled workforce. Adult literacy is a key determinant. Meeting this challenge is a shared responsibility between the private sector (employers and employees), labour, educational institutions, community organizations, and all levels of government.

As illustrated by the International Adult Literacy Survey of 2003, 3.1 million working age Canadians with IALS Level 1 literacy skills, the lowest level of literacy, are employed with an additional 5.8 million working-age Canadians employed with a Level 2 literacy level. These 8.9 million people represent nearly 50% of the entire Canadian labour force highlighting the clear need for workplace literacy and essential skills training for employed Canadians.

According to the Conference Board of Canada’s Learning and Development Outlook 2009: Learning in Tough Times, Canadian employers spent only $786 per employee in 2008. This represents a decline of over 40% from 15 years ago. Additionally, non-technical staff (as opposed to management or professional staff) received the fewest hours of training indicating that training dollars are not, for the most part, being spent on literacy and essential skills.

ABC Life Literacy Canada encourages all employers and employees, managers and business leaders, union and labour leaders, along with government officials to proactively focus on programs that can meet the needs of Canada’s changing workplace/workforce.

For additional information on workplace literacy, visit

Canadians can become active participants and join ABC Life Literacy Canada’s vision of a nation where everyone has the literacy skills they need to live a fully engaged life by supporting life literacy programs and initiatives with an online donation.

To learn more about literacy and lifelong learning please visit


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