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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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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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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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Arts graduates spend years dissecting texts like "Waiting for Godot." And like the characters in Samuel Beckett's absurdist play, generations of them have been stuck in one place, unable to find jobs for which their degrees might qualify them.
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The Stop the Trades Tax Campaign welcomes media reports that federal Employment and Social Development Minster Jason Kenney will call on the Ontario Liberal government to put a stop to its plan to force compulsory certification on carpenters throughout the province.
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Canadian economy adds nearly 43,000 jobs; jobless rate falls

The Canadian economy created 42,900 jobs in March, after months of sluggish growth, as young people and those in the public sector landed work. The country’s jobless rate eased one notch to 6.9 per cent last month, according to Statistics Canada in its monthly report.
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I'm Still Learning! is the tagline for Adult Learners’ Week 2014 which runs from March 29 to April 6. One of its goals is the promotion of a culture of lifelong learning, and CFUW, as a representative on the Education Sub-Committee of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, is a strong supporter of this goal.
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Literacy NL has welcomed Helen Woodrow as its principal researcher supporting processional development. The organization is also marking Adult Learners' Week with a story by Woody Point ABE instructor Margaret King.
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Have strategies in mind for succeeding at the job you’re interviewing for and ask if the company has tried them already. Think of some of the things you foresee as being potentially challenging and ask if they have come up and how the company has handled them.
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Job interviews: The most common area where employment candidates make mistakes

Navigating the job application process can be tricky, and no area has more opportunities to go off track than the interview, according to a new Accountemps survey.
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Fanshawe College - Always relevant, always changing

At a celebration live-streamed to staff at all campuses, Fanshawe College President Peter Devlin unveiled the College's new brand and visual identity. The new brand promise - to educate, engage, empower and excite - reflects Fanshawe's desire to help people reach their full potential.
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For 25 years, the Saskatchewan Literacy Network has celebrated and supported lifelong and life-wide continuous learning. "We join the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the rest of Canada as we recognize knowledge in all its forms and the importance of embracing that knowledge as we continue to build healthy and vibrant Saskatchewan communities."
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Essential Skills Ontario recently released the second of its 2014 Essential Skills Bulletins on PIAAC - the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies.
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The Literacy Alberta board of directors is pleased to welcome Dr. Phillip (Phil) Hoffmann as the new executive director. Dr. Hoffmann comes from SAIT Polytechnic where he spent over six years as an associate dean.
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Adult Learners’ Week (ALW) has always been a time of reflection for Manisha Khetarpal, head of Library Services at Maskwacis Cultural College in Alberta.
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Maskwacis Cultural College in Alberta invites all literacy practitioners working with under-served populations or indigenous communities to explore the field of library studies and complete its Indigenous Library and Information Technology needs assessment and program delivery survey.
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New Canadian manufacturing sector 'rising from the ashes:' CIBC

After a difficult decade that saw the number of Canadian manufacturing firms fall by 20 per cent and the sector's share of GDP drop to 12 per cent, a new report from CIBC World Markets finds that many industries are ready to reverse that trend and outperform in the coming years.
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The fellowship allows an Aboriginal journalist early in his or her career the opportunity to explore an issue of interest to First Nations, Métis or Inuit peoples while being hosted by CBC News for one month at its new Aboriginal centre in Winnipeg. The story or series resulting from the experience will be considered for publication or broadcast by CBC News.
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Complete FIMESIP survey by April 7 and you could win an iPad mini

Less than a week remains to complete the First Nations, Inuit and Métis Essential Skills Inventory Project (FIMESIP) website survey in order to be eligible to win an iPad mini. The survey, which closes April 7, is for everyone working to support workforce, literacy and essential skills development of First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples in Canada.
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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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