Why is this research important?
Currently, Canada has no Literacy and Essential Skills (LES) data or much research regarding businesses in the manufacturing sector. This information is crucial for individual manufacturing businesses in the second largest Canadian industrial sector in order to modernize and to compete globally. This project will be a first attempt to fill this gap.
This research will examine
Literacy & Essential Skills
The 9 essential skills are:
- Document Use
- Oral Communication
- Working with Others
- Computer Use
- Continuous Learning
- Are needed for work, learning and life
- Are the foundation for learning all other skills
- Help people evolve with their jobs and adapt to workplace change
- Levels 1 & 2 are lower levels of skills and levels 4 & 5 are more advanced skills
- Level 3 is considered the minimum to perform in today's workplaces
Importance of Essential Skills
4 out of 10 working Canadians do not have the literacy skills needed to participate in the knowledge economy.
Percentage of employers seeing the following 4 skills as lacking in recently hired workers (Conference Board of Canada, 2013):
- Over 40% noted reading
- Over 30% cited Continuous Learning
- Fewer than 30% noted Computer Skills
- Over 20% cited Numeracy
Canadian workers’ DECREASING LITERACY PERFORMANCE between 2003 and 2012:
- From an average of 280 in 2003, down to an average of 273 in 2012; both average scores were at Level 3.
Canadian workers’ DECREASING NUMERACY PERFORMANCE between 2003 and 2012:
- From an average of 272 in 2003, it fell to 266 in 2012 below the OECD average of 269 (Statistics Canada, ESDC, CMEC and PIAAC, 2013).
Canadian Manufacturing Sector Performance
In 2003, 3.8 million low-literacy workers (levels 1 and 2) were concentrated in 5 sectors with the highest number (1,110,000) being in the manufacturing sector.
Low and medium-low technology manufacturing industries had the lowest literacy and numeracy score of all industries in 2012.