NEW IPSOS REID RESEARCH FINDS 90% OF CANADIANS BELIEVE IMPROVING LITERACY IS KEY TO COMPETITIVE ECONOMY
National report also finds that ‘94% of Canadians agree that literacy skills are critical to their quality of life’; September declared Life Literacy Month
Toronto During a live press event held last week, Ipsos Reid revealed research results of Canadians’ opinions on literacy and life-long learning. Defining literacy as reading, writing and math skills, the research, conducted on behalf of ABC Life Literacy Canada, showed that nine in 10 (90%) Canadians believe that improving literacy levels in Canada is key to improving the country’s economy.
Approximately 95% of Canadians agree that literacy training is critical to improving job prospects for Canadians. Even those who are employed are seeking advancement by improving their literacy skills of working Canadians, close to three-quarters (72%) ‘agree’ that they ‘initiate upgrading their skills and literacy levels in the workplace’.
“Our research findings indicate that Canadians clearly recognize the link between literacy levels and economic recovery. Overwhelmingly, Canadians believe that improved literacy levels are the key to a positive economic recovery in this country,” notes Sean Simpson of Ipsos Reid.
While some Canadians look for ways to upgrade their skills, three in 10 Canadians do not initiate upgrading their skills and literacy levels in the workplace. The data further revealed differences in agreement based on an individual’s education level eight in 10 university graduates (78%) and those with some post-secondary education (80%) agree that they initiate workplace training, while significantly fewer working Canadians with only a high-school diploma (67%) or no diploma (58%) agree that they initiate silks and literacy training in their workplace, suggesting that either something is holding them back or they are not given the opportunity to improve their skills in this manner.
Canadians do come together in their agreement of government involvement and the importance of a good quality of life as 94% ‘agree that Canadians’ literacy skills are critical to quality of life’ and 93% also ‘agree that governments need to support improving the literacy levels of Canadians.’
These results come as ABC Life Literacy Canada, celebrating 20 years of proactive literacy advocacy, rolls out an exciting national line-up of life literacy activities and initiatives during the recently declared Life Literacy Month in September.
“On behalf of the board and staff of ABC Life Literacy Canada, we are proud to declare September as Life Literacy Month,” commented Margaret Eaton, President of ABC Life Literacy Canada. “Our primary motivation for Life Literacy Month is to raise awareness and inspire more Canadians to increase their literacy skills. In so doing, not only can we remain competitive in the global marketplace but ensure that Canadians are living fully engaged lives.”
Helping Canadians increase their literacy skills both on the job and at home, ABC Life Literacy Canada is proud to unveil the following activities and initiatives:
UNESCO International Literacy Day (September 8)
A worldwide effort to spread the message of literacy in our communities. Become part of the solution by taking part in the online International Day Literacy Challenge. Share your thoughts and opinions with weekly online polls and engage your organization with simple at-work projects available via the social media guide created in collaboration with our partners Frontier College, Movement for Canadian Literacy and the Ontario Literacy Coalition.
Launch of new online platform for LEARN program
One-stop online database of national community literacy programs and agencies brings search to everyone’s fingertips. With a simple click, individuals can be connected to resource centres available to help them, their family or friends meet their improvement goals. Visit lookunderlearn.ca to find a centre near you.
Essential Skills Day (September 23)
Investing in your workforce is imperative to ensure longevity and success in the current economy. A new annual initiative created by ABC Life Literacy Canada raises the awareness of workplace literacy and essential skills training. Craig Alexander, Chief Economist at TD Bank Financial Group, will be speaking in Calgary, AB on this day. Additional information is available online for interested participants.
Good Reads Series One Launch (September 28)
Great Canadian authors pen easy reading books specifically for adult literacy learners. Published by Grass Roots Press, the six-book series one launch includes titles by Gail Anderson-Dargatz, Louise Penny, Maureen Jennings, Rabindranath Maharaj, Deborah Ellis and Gail Vaz-Oxlade. Written in clear language, readers will not be able to put them down. The books will be available via literacy and adult basic education programs as well as libraries. Good Reads books will also appeal to fluent readers including those who may not have time for full-length books. Distribution via select bookstores and retailers will be available thanks to HarperCollins Canada.
With 20 years of advocacy and mobilization across business, unions, government and communities, on October 6 ABC Life Literacy Canada proudly celebrates literacy champions during the inaugural Life Literacy Night.
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 www.abclifeliteracy.ca.