Skills Development in Canada – new C.D. Howe report

Skills Development in Canada – new C.D. Howe report

Skills Development in Canada – new C.D. Howe report

Date posted: September 21, 2015

Canada’s average performance in PIAAC (the OECD’s test of adult literacy, numeracy and problem solving) has raised questions about the quality of provincial education systems. If Canada has a high-performing education system, why do its graduates not out-perform the international norm? The explanation for the scores lies elsewhere, according to a new C.D. Howe Institute report.

In Underperforming Adults? The Paradox of Skills Development in Canada, author Andrew Parkin analyzes how Canada’s education and immigration systems interact to develop human capital and makes recommendations on how to address skills deficits.

Included in the recommendations is offering older workers more opportunities for training and continuing education in order to boost their skills. “The largest age cohort of workers in the Canadian labour force currently is those aged 45 to 54. These workers have seen their basic literacy and numeracy skills decline over time. Yet we will be reliant on them to drive our economic output for years to come,” says Parkin. He argues that to boost the performance of Canadian adults, the focus should be on those Canadians whose performance is well below average.

Read the full report here.

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