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This report from the Canadian Literacy and Learning Network (CLLN) is a must-read for everyone with an interest in the practitioners/workers/educators who work in the literacy and essential skills (LES) field and the students/learners whom these individuals work tirelessly to support.
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Celebrating 25 years of Copian: Canada's premier national adult literacy database

In 2014, adult literacy educators in Canada and other nations celebrate 25 years of service by Copian, formerly known as the National Adult Literacy Database (NALD).
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Minister of State (Finance) Kevin Sorenson has announced the appointment of Jane Rooney, a seasoned policy maker in domestic and international financial literacy issues, as Canada’s first-ever Financial Literacy Leader. The position was established through the Financial Literacy Leader Act in March 2013, thus implementing the top recommendation of the Task Force on Financial Literacy.
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Soaring tuition costs force students to work more hours: analysis

Many university students have to work double, triple and in some cases six times the number of hours in minimum-wage jobs to afford tuition costs compared to 40 years ago, according to Statistics Canada data analyzed by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.
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A new report has confirmed that a large majority of college graduates continue to find jobs shortly after they graduate. The results show 83.4 per cent of college graduates found employment within six months of graduation.
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Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Bernard Valcourt gave a lunchtime speech at the Empire Club of Canada highlighting recent Government of Canada action to increase Aboriginal participation in the workforce. The Minister spoke of new approaches to education and skills development for Aboriginal people in Canada that, coupled with major investments in these areas, are expected to lead to further jobs and prosperity for individuals and communities across the country.
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On the occasion of World Book Day April 23, the International Federation of University Women (IFUW) urges governments to legislate for cheap, extensive Internet and mobile access to ensure that secondary school girls in particular have easy and regular access to both paper and digital books.
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Did you know? There's a cooking skills gap, according to new report

Research released by Sobeys Inc. has revealed a generation gap when it comes to food knowledge and confidence in cooking skills. Only 31 per cent of 18 to 29-year-olds feel confident in the kitchen versus 48 per cent of those 50 and older.
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Canada's poor record of business innovation continues to hamper our country's competitiveness. A new Conference Board of Canada report, Skills for Business Innovation Success: It's People Who Innovate, highlights research, tools, industry perspectives, and strategies to bolster firm-level innovation in Canada through skills.
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Education Minister Don Morgan, along with Saskatchewan School Boards Association (SSBA) Janet Foord, announced the historic Education Sector Strategic Plan at the SSBA Spring Assembly. This is the first ever province-wide plan to be developed in co-operation with all education sector partners, approved by the 28 school boards and accepted by the Government of Saskatchewan.
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Ontario issues progress reports for health and education

Ontario is continuing to invest in public services to help people in their everyday lives, to build a strong workforce and to ensure families have the high-quality health care they need. The province has released its Health Care and Education Progress Reports, which outline the government's accomplishments since 2003 to drive change and improve the lives of people across the province.
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Four adult learners were recognized at an event in Halifax during Adult Learners' Week. They were among the more than 50 adult learners from across Nova Scotia who had submitted essays about how learning has changed their lives.
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Legislative amendments in Nova Scotia to benefit employers, apprentices

Legislative changes introduced April 10 will increase employer involvement in apprenticeship, and make it easier for apprentices to complete their training and get jobs in Nova Scotia.
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Minding the skills gap in British Columbia

The Immigrant Employment Council of BC has launched a new campaign at MindTheGapBC.com to introduce employers and hiring managers across British Columbia to an online library of employer tools and resources that assist with hiring immigrant talent.
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"We all agree that we need action on First Nations education because it is crucial for our children and it is crucial for our shared future. But we must get it right. Each nation will need to determine for themselves if this bill meets their needs and our demand for an approach that places our children front and centre and is founded on our rights, treaties and jurisdiction." - Assembly of First Nations Chief Shawn Atleo
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Have you heard of NALES? Read on

"Last year, the three territorial literacy coalitions signed a memorandum of agreement, and the Northern Alliance for Literacy and Essential Skills (NALES) was born. Each literacy council is still an independent body, with its own projects, but we realized the power of numbers and the potential for working together on projects of mutual interest." - Helen Balanoff on behalf of Northern Alliance for Literacy and Essential Skills (NALES)
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CPA Canada named financial literacy organization of the year

CPA Canada was named Organization of the Year, Nonprofit, by the Institute for Financial Literacy, based in the United States. The organization also received a prestigious EIFLE (Excellence in Financial Literacy Education) Award. CPA Canada produces practical publications and maintains a website dedicated to financial literacy.
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New generation speed-dating its way to summer jobs

Kael Cruz spent the past few months “working like crazy,” putting the final touches on his portfolio, perfecting his personal website, attending a networking training session, and boosting his social media presence in anticipation of an evening that had the potential to launch his career. “I’ve got to sit at that table, so I’ve got to bring my A-game,” explained the creative advertising student at Toronto’s Humber College.
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Hamiltonian 20-somethings just can't leave the nest. That much is apparent from 2011 census statistics that show 51.6 per cent of Steel City residents between the ages of 20 and 29 are still living with their parents, though the reasons may not be so obvious.
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Is it worth the investment for employers to provide literacy and essential skills training to the least skilled in the Canadian workforce? Research in the last decade has revealed significant gaps in literacy and essential skills in the Canadian workforce that can contribute to lower firm productivity, lower wages, reduced job stability, and higher health risks from workplace injury.
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Message for employers: Invest in your workforce

As the demand for skills continues to shift towards more sophisticated tasks, as jobs increasingly involve analyzing and communicating information, and as technology pervades all aspects of life, those individuals with poor literacy and numeracy skills are more likely to find themselves left behind.
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The TOEIC Program recently launched Why English Matters, a new content-based website that seeks to build awareness and share information about the important role that English-language proficiency plays in the global economy.
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"When I looked at the numbers five years ago, I was shocked. And when I looked at the numbers that came out last year, I was depressed," said Craig Alexander, senior vice-president and chief economist for TD Bank Group, referring to a recent study. Alexander, who is based in Toronto, was guest speaker recently in Saint John, N.B., at a call to action event titled Achieve Literacy Greater Saint John.
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Need for foreign workers is still strong, especially in Calgary

Despite changes made to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) in late 2013, it's clear the need to tap into that labour supply remains strong, and nowhere is that more clear than in the labour-starved Calgary market.
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Hiring? Personality trumps skills: survey

A new survey finds that when it comes to hiring knowledgeable workers, personality beats technical wizardry any day.
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CMEC has just published an Assessment Matters! research note on the problem-solving skills of Canadian 15-year-olds. The note uses data from the recently released OECD report on problem solving from the 2012 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). OECD results show that only seven of the 44 participating countries, and only two OECD countries, achieved a higher average score in problem solving than Canada.
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Prince Edward Island woman wins national award for senior volunteerism

Marilla Millar, an 83-year-old volunteer from Ellerslie, P.E.I., has been named the national winner of the Salute to Senior Service contest sponsored by Home Instead, Inc., franchisor of the Home Instead Senior Care network. She was selected from nearly 90 nominees. April 6-12 is National Volunteer Week in Canada.
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“The Government of Saskatchewan recognizes the value of adult education, the connection between learning and earning, and what it means to our robust economy,” Advanced Education Minister Rob Norris said. “As part of the Saskatchewan Plan for Growth we expect to add 60,000 more people to our workforce by 2020."
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National Volunteer Week is April 6 to 12, 2014

During National Volunteer Week 2014, Volunteer Canada and Investors Group are encouraging Canadians to thank volunteers for their efforts, by participating in a unique countrywide conversation about volunteer recognition.
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The Migrant Workers Alliance for Change, Canada's largest migrant worker coalition, will be participating in the launch of Lawyer and Professor Fay Faraday's groundbreaking new report titled Profiting from the Precarious: How Recruitment Practices Exploit Migrant Workers.
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Top 20 PDF Downloads for March 2014

Each month Copian releases Library user statistics in a feature known as the Top 20 downloads/20 Plus téléchargés. The report examines the number of Copian Library documents, in both English and French, which are viewed and downloaded by visitors to the Copian website.
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