The Economic Benefits of Improving Literacy Skills in the Workplace

The Conference Board of Canada, 24 pages, September 28, 2007
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Solving the problem of inadequate literacy skills requires concerted action from business, educators, communities, individuals, and government. This study helps raise awareness of the importance of investing in literacy.

Document Highlights

Enhancing literacy levels in the workplace improves bottom-line performance for Canada’s employers and gives employees a better chance for success in their careers. There are clear economic benefits in improving workplace literacy, but the message has not yet reached many Canadian workplaces. Benefits of literacy training cited by employers include the improved learning facility of the employees, their ability to work together as a team, and improved labour–management relations. Employees with higher literacy skills earn more income, are less likely to be unemployed, experience shorter periods of unemployment, are more likely to find full-time work, and are more likely to receive further training. A male with higher literacy skills makes an extra $585,000 over his lifetime. For females, the amount is $683,000. These findings will interest employers and their partners who want to understand the link between enhancing literacy skills in the workplace and economic and organizational success.

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