Canadians getting smarter

Work-related training drives learning index up

For the second year in a row, Canada’s overall score on the Composite Learning Index has improved, according to a report from the Canadian Council on Learning.

Created in 2006, the Composite Learning Index (CLI) is a statistical index of lifelong learning, whether in school, at home, at work or in the community, and is based on results from 4,700 cities and communities across Canada.

For 2008, the national average is 77, an increase of one point from 2007 and four points from the national benchmark of 73 set in 2006. The greatest upward trends were seen in Quebec and Atlantic Canada.

"It’s reassuring to see Canada’s improved performance on the CLI realized across the country, not just in our major cities but also in our small towns and rural communities,” says Paul Cappon, president and CEO of the Canadian Council on Learning (CCL).

This positive trend has been driven by improvement in the areas of work-related learning and learning for personal development. On the other hand, Canada's performance in school-based learning is stagnant.

With CLI scores of 93, Victoria and Ottawa are now the top performers among Canada's major cities, followed by Calgary and Gatineau, Que., at 92.

The majority of the country's 10 most-improved cities are located east of Ontario, with St. John's, N.L., topping the list, and improvements in rural communities are occurring at roughly the same rate as in large cities, according to the report.

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