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Adult literacy sector welcomes PIAAC research

(Ottawa, ON – October 8, 2013) – Canada’s national literacy organizations and provincial/territorial coalitions are among the key sector partners welcoming today’s official release of the PIAAC survey — Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC), an initiative of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The OECD works internationally to promote policies that improve the economic and social well being of people around the world. Among its many initiatives, the OECD also provides the assessment and benchmarking of foundational skills of working-age adults around the world.

Canadian literacy sector leaders from coast to coast have been engaged in preparations, anticipating presentation of the new PIAAC study. Collaborative sessions are underway among literacy sector leaders to reflect on the new information brought to light by PIAAC, and to actively work together on new initiatives over the coming weeks and months. The sector is strong in its commitment to raising the level of nationwide awareness and action to improveskills, training and lifelong learning for all Canadians.  Outcomes in building Canada’s skills include a thriving national economy, profitable businesses, vibrant communities and engaged citizens. The support of government, community organizations, business and private sector partnerships is key to enabling new solutions and building Canada’s skills advantage.

“We’d like to express our gratitude to the Government of Canada, particularly Ministry of Employment and Social Development Canada and Statistics Canada along with Council Ministers of Education Canada for investing in this key international study for Canadians. PIAAC provides our sector with key insights to work together and raise the opportunity for every Canadian to achieve success in lifelong learning. Foundational skills for Canadians with a job and job seekers are key to living the more fully engaged life. We look forward to working with our sector and corporate Canada to build Canada’s skills advantage.” said Gillian Mason, President, ABC Life Literacy Canada.

The Government of Canada and its partners, particularly the Department of Employment and Social Development Canada, Statistics Canada, along with the Council Ministers of Education Canada, were instrumental in this key international study for Canadians. PIAAC provides our sector with important insights to work together and raise the opportunity for every Canadian to achieve success in lifelong learning. Foundational skills for working Canadians and job seekers are essential to living a more fully engaged life. Canada’s national literacy organizations and provincial/territorial coalitions look forward to working together with sector stakeholders and corporate Canada to build Canada’s skills advantage.

In Canada, over 27,000 adults aged 16 to 65 participated in PIAAC. Respondents were selected in order to obtain a representative sample of people living in each province and territory. A significant number of youth, official-language minorities, off-reserve Aboriginal populations and immigrants took part in the survey to provide reliable information about these groups. Internationally, 24 countries participated in the first round of PIAAC (2008-2013): Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea (Republic of), Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russian Federation, Slovak Republic, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, and United States. Chile, Greece, Indonesia, Israel, Lithuania, New Zealand, Singapore, Slovenia, and Turkey are participating in the second round (2012-2016) of PIAAC. A third round of data collection will begin in 2014. Countries participating in this round have not yet been confirmed.

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