The Reading Comprehension Skills Needed in a Fully Performing Workforce – A Breakthrough in Understanding: Policy Consequences for Alberta (2010)

This report compares estimates of the demand for literacy skills in the province of Alberta to estimates of the available supply of such skills. It also provides an overview of the instruction that would be required to eliminate the literacy skill shortages; an approximation of what such instruction would cost; and estimates of the direct economic benefits that might occur if such an investment were made.

The analysis shows that the demand for prose literacy skills is expected to rise over the coming decade in response to a shift towards more knowledge-intense occupations. However, significant proportions of workers have reading comprehension skill levels below the level demanded by their current occupations.

Hypothetically, if Alberta were to use remedial education in an effort to eliminate all the reading comprehension shortages identified, the cost would be $1.6 billion. That investment would have the potential to lead to significant increases in wages. In the best-case scenario, such an investment could yield annual rates of return of as much as 500 percent.

However, the authors note that in the real world, policy interventions would be needed on more than one front. Government can also help employers and workers in matching demand and supply by providing better information on the need for reading comprehension skills, and by developing diagnostic tools, curricula, and other learning materials.

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Added: 
2013-09-10
APA citation
T. Scott Murray and Peter Hicks. The Reading Comprehension Skills Needed in a Fully Performing Workforce – A Breakthrough in Understanding: Policy Consequences for Alberta 2010. Web. 30 Nov. 2020 <http://en.copian.ca/library/research/murray/reading_comp/reading_comp.pdf>
T. Scott Murray & Peter Hicks (2010). The Reading Comprehension Skills Needed in a Fully Performing Workforce – A Breakthrough in Understanding: Policy Consequences for Alberta. Retrieved November 30, 2020, from http://en.copian.ca/library/research/murray/reading_comp/reading_comp.pdf
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