From Poverty to Prosperity: Literacy's Impact on Canada's Economic Success - In focus: labour market engagement (2012)

Based on their analysis of data from the International Adult Literacy and Skills Survey (IALSS) and other sources, the authors of this report conclude that there is little doubt that literacy and poverty are closely linked. The authors go on to explore the implications of this relationship for public policy.

Investment in literacy would lead to both significant increases in earnings and significant reductions in the numbers of adults receiving employment insurance and social assistance benefits. Raising every Canadian adult to the level of literacy required to participate fully in today’s economy would reduce social assistance rolls by 84,000 and generate annual benefits savings of $542 million.

Research suggests that it would require an investment of roughly $18 billion to eliminate occupational literacy skills shortages in Canada. The authors point out that while this figure seems high, it would probably generate an additional $100 billion in annual earnings.

In order to realize those returns, governments should encourage employers to assess their employees’ literacy and numeracy skills and to upgrade skills where needed; increase the economic demand for literacy skill by replacing passive income support with active education policies; and create tax incentives for individuals and employers to invest in skill upgrading.

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ISBN: 
978-0-920588-52-9
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2012-11-23
APA citation
T. Scott Murray and Richard Shillington. From Poverty to Prosperity: Literacy's Impact on Canada's Economic Success - In focus: labour market engagement 2012. Web. 18 Jan. 2021 <http://en.copian.ca/library/research/clln/poverty_prosperity/poverty_prosperity.pdf>
T. Scott Murray & Richard Shillington (2012). From Poverty to Prosperity: Literacy's Impact on Canada's Economic Success - In focus: labour market engagement. Retrieved January 18, 2021, from http://en.copian.ca/library/research/clln/poverty_prosperity/poverty_prosperity.pdf
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