Depleted literacy levels major workforce issue: Execs

Communication problems, friction among negative impacts
By Amanda Silliker
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 06/15/2012

More than three-quarters (76 per cent) of executives think literacy is a major workforce issue, according to a survey by ABC Life Literacy Canada. And one-quarter of the 69 executives surveyed said their employees have low literacy levels.

“It is two things: Canadian-born people who struggle with reading and writing — especially because writing has become such a big issue in the workforce, much more than it ever was before, people are noticing gaps in people’s writing. And new Canadians coming in are having difficulty with English or French,” said Margaret Eaton, president of ABC Life Literacy Canada in Toronto.

Literacy is an issue within the automotive repair industry, according to Edward Nasello, project manager for essential skills at the Ottawa-based Canadian Automotive Repair and Service Council (CARS). Employees are having difficulty dealing with rapid changes in the industry because of a lack of versatility around literacy.