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Headlines: Alberta

Hot off the press: Digital Technology: A CLLN Snapshot

This Digital Snapshot of the Literacy and Essential Skills Field takes a look at how literacy coalitions and frontline delivery agencies are using digital tools. Conducted from January to March 2013, the research phase of the project included interviews and online questionnaire responses.
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Interested in making your workplace more efficient? In this three-part series, workplace literacy and essential skills expert Sandi Howell talks about the benefits of skills training.
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Studio: Another new addition to the NALD family of websites

The National Adult Literacy Database (NALD) is pleased to announce that it has launched an online directory devoted to case studies of best practices in workplace education. Known as Studio, the interactive and bilingual website is national in scope, crossing various industry sectors and geographic regions.
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'State of the Literacy and Essential Skills Field' is an important and comprehensive report from the perspective of the Canadian Literacy and Learning Network (CLLN) and its national network of partners. Located in the NALD library, the document highlights the need for organizations with an interest in literacy and essential skills (LES) to look at issues through an LES lens.
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This year Alberta will present the COF Literacy Award to an organization that, through collaboration and partnerships, demonstrates outstanding achievement, innovation practice and excellence in literacy. The deadline for nominations is June 14, 2013.
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Strategies for incorporating technology in the ESL literacy classroom

Technology surrounds Learners with Interrupted Formal Education everywhere they go: computers, televisions, telephones, bank machines, CD players and microwaves. Most see that computers and technology are an important part of their new country. They are motivated to learn skills that will maximize their progress in English. Some learners embrace technology with open arms while others may be more hesitant.
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NALD is pleased to launch Modus, its new searchable and interactive directory of essential skills assessment tools. The innovative website includes free diagnostic tools as well as links to fee-for-service agencies. It allows users to browse tools by essential skill, location, audience and cost, when applicable.
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The federal government is seeking applications for projects that will help seniors use their leadership abilities, energy and skills to continue to make a difference in their communities through the New Horizons for Seniors Program. The deadline for applications is July 5, 2013, in all provinces and territories except Quebec, where the process will close on September 6, 2013, to coincide with a provincial call for proposals.
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Class of 2013 demands more from universities: Help us find jobs

Perhaps because of the relentlessly bleak climate, many students now accept that their path to a stable lifestyle may involve years pin balling their way up the ranks with a mixture of interning, contract work and networking. As a result, they have been calling for more work experience – like internships or field work – to be built into their education.
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Facing organizational change? Leader's messages must be clear

Everyone needs to know where they’re going. David Scholz, chief marketing officer of Leger Marketing, a Canadian-owned research and strategic marketing firm, emphasizes why being clear is an important skill for leaders. “If no one is telling you, you’ll set your own direction; the result is 100 staff members going in 100 different directions.”
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The Trucking Human Resource Sector Council Atlantic is receiving over $640,000 to study literacy and essential skills levels among employees. The study will allow the industry to better assess the impact of literacy and essential skills on safety, productivity and employment patterns. From this study, a toolkit will be developed to help employers address essential skills challenges in the workplace.
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Please take a few minutes to fill out this short feedback survey regarding ABC Life Literacy Canada's and Natrel Baboo's joint project: Family Literacy Resources for New Parents. The survey must be completed before 5:00 p.m. ET on Friday, May 24, 2013, for your chance to win a Family Literacy Day prize pack.
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Preliminary 2012 data and revised 2007 to 2011 data on provincial and territorial labour productivity and its related variables for the business sector by industry are now available.
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Following a decline the previous month, employment was little changed in April and the unemployment rate remained at 7.2%. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment increased 0.9% or 163,000, all in full-time work. The total number of hours worked rose by 1.5% over the same period.
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Canada's Temporary Foreign Worker Program has been thrust into the spotlight in recent weeks. A report publishe by The School of Public Policy examines the effect of the program on the supply and demand of domestic labour. Author Kevin McQuillan finds there is no general labour shortage here in Canada that would warrant a reliance on foreign workers. Instead, he argues that Canada needs to scale back the program and build a skilled workforce from within.
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Solution found for skilled trade worker shortage

Canadian project management and industrial recruitment agencies have been sourcing trade workers from the United States and around the world for many years. An Alberta based recruitment agency has come up with a long term solution that will put Canadian workers first and have future Alberta construction projects less dependent on temporary foreign workers to complete the mega oil sands projects.
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Canadians respond to the national Call for Concepts for Social Finance

In the coming months, the Government of Canada will take several steps to bring players together and stimulate innovative ideas for addressing social and economic challenges. The Government will look to leaders in the social finance sector, such as the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation, the Centre for Impact Investing at MaRS, Vancouver City Savings Credit Union, Social Capital Partners, and others to help identify a way forward.
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Aboriginal populations surge in Canada, StatsCan says

Aboriginal peoples are gaining ground in Canada's population, but they are losing their languages. And their family structure is dramatically different than other Canadian families, with less than half of children living with both their parents. The rest are in single-parent homes, living with relatives or step-parents, or in foster homes. Indeed, half the foster children in Canada under the age of 14 are aboriginal, according to the National Household Survey.
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How my learning disability affected my mental health

Learning disabilities are commonly considered a school-based issue; but struggling in school means struggling in life. This makes learning to be confident and acquiring a healthy mental attitude a particular challenge for those with learning disabilities. With children and youth as this year's focus for Mental Health Awareness Week, I would like to call attention to the relationship between mental health issues and learning disabilities.
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Ottawa increases support for apprentices and the skilled trades

A highly qualified and mobile skilled trades workforce is critical to Canada's productivity and competitiveness. By helping Canadians connect with available jobs and putting a priority on skills and training, we are ensuring continued economic growth, job creation and long-term prosperity.
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Nearly half of the 46 mid-sized Canadian cities covered in The Conference Board of Canada's first Mid-Sized Cities Outlook 2013 have not recovered all the jobs lost during the recession, based on historical economic data between 2005 and 2012.
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The following strategic orientations emerged at the summit as key to helping Canada regain its leading edge in a competitive economy: addressing development of literacy and essential skills as a national priority; raising the quality of practice; and integrating ES assessment and upskilling in college technical programs.
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National Survey of Literacy and Essential Skills Workforce extended to May 17

If you are involved in the provision of Literacy and Essential Skills programs and services, exclusively or as part of other services you deliver, to adults, as a paid teacher/instructor, skills assessor, program/curriculum developer, administrator, coordinator or manager, this survey is for you.
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The Summer Aboriginal Literacy Camps are day camps that are run by Frontier College in Aboriginal communities across the country. The impetus for the camps, now in their seventh year, is to provide activities that are fun yet educational for Aboriginal children, ensuring that their reading levels remain the same or improve during the summer months.
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GED test will see big changes beginning in January 2014

Beginning in January 2014, the GED® test will move from a paper-based to a computer-based format, which simply means that you will complete the test using a computer and not on paper. The test content will remain the same – five tests: Language Arts, Reading; Language Arts, Writing; Social Studies; Science; and Math.
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Ten tips to help you boost your confidence at work

Work is where confidence matters most and if we develop poor confidence at work, reversing it is a must. There’s nothing innate about poor confidence. It comes from negative thoughts and experiences. To develop workplace confidence, therefore, we simply need to replace this negativity with positive thinking and actions.
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Overly restrictive and “antiquated” provincial regulations are contributing to a shortage of young apprentices and starving the economy of badly needed skilled workers, according to a C.D. Howe Institute study.
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Deadline for CLLN's LES Labour Market Study extended to May 17, 2013

The Labour Market Study is surveying individuals involved in the delivery of Literacy and Essential Skills (L/ES) services in a variety of roles. Whether you are an instructor, trainer, coordinator, assessor, program manager, supervisor, administrator or have another role in L/ES program delivery, this survey includes you.
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“Throughout its long history, the literacy and essential skills field has continually evolved and adapted in response to the changing needs of adults. This timeline captures some of the important people, events, initiatives and other influences that have helped shape the literacy and essential skills field in Canada over the past 200 years.” -- Essential Skills Ontario
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Ottawa announces reforms to Temporary Foreign Worker Program

Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, and Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, have announced reforms to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. “Canada is experiencing significant skills shortages in many sectors and regions, and Canadians must always have first crack at job opportunities when they become available,” said Minister Finley.
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