ABC Life Literacy Canada

ABC Life Literacy Canada

March 10, 2016 14:38 ET

ABC Life Literacy Canada's UPskill Initiative is Ready to Advance Literacy and Essential Skills in Canada

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA--(Marketwired - March 10, 2016) -

Note to editors: A photo for this release will be available on the Canadian Press picture wire via Marketwire.

Today in Winnipeg, ABC Life Literacy Canada (ABC) hosted an event to drive home the importance of improving literacy and essentials skills training in Canadian workplaces and to celebrate the official launch of ABC's UPskill initiative. Gathered were Government, NGOs, business, and union leaders, all united in the belief that improving literacy and essential skills in the Canadian workforce is critical to improving the Canadian economy, and the health and well-being of Canadians.

UPskill is a social enterprise that works with business leaders to demonstrate the value and return on investment of literacy and essential skills training. Last month ABC announced Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life's commitment to invest in UPskill, as a founding partner, with catalytic funding that has propelled the initiative into a viable enterprise.

Essential skills training for business provides solutions for common issues in the workplace including: changes in business, health and safety concerns, errors and waste, incorrect paperwork and document use, and teamwork and leadership needs. The nine essential skills are: reading, writing, numeracy, document use, oral communication, working with others, computer use, thinking skills and continuous learning.

Boeing Canada Operations Limited (Boeing) received the inaugural UPskill Corporate Charter to recognize the exemplary steps they have taken to support their workforce and business outcomes through literacy and essential skills training. Boeing's commitment exemplifies a workplace model that acknowledges the importance of embedding literacy and essential skills training into business learning culture.

In addition to the UPskill Corporate Charter, UPskill is developing a quality assurance framework for workplace literacy and essential skills training and, in partnership with the Institute of Performance and Learning, creating professional accreditation for trainers. Visit for information.


"ABC recognizes that creating lasting change requires a collaborative approach among stakeholders from across sectors," said Gillian Mason, President, ABC Life Literacy Canada. "UPskill is a long overdue and critical workforce initiative that has support from over 30 private sector, union and non-profit organizations and stakeholder groups. Together, we can multiply our impact and ensure that literacy and essential skills training becomes part of the workplace learning culture in Canada."

"In today's rapidly changing economy, Canadians need more opportunities to improve their skills. We are encouraged to see that organizations like ABC Life Literacy Canada recognize this priority. UPskill is a good example of how employers and training providers can work together to support Canadians to develop the skills they need to succeed," said the Honourable MaryAnn Mihychuk, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour.

ABC Life Literacy Canada is a non-profit organization that inspires Canadians to increase their literacy skills. We mobilize business, government and communities to support lifelong learning and achieve our goals through leadership in programs, communications and partnerships. ABC envisions a Canada where everyone has the skills they need to live a fully engaged life. For the latest news and information on adult literacy please visit

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