Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

September 08, 2010 09:00 ET

The Government of Canada Celebrates International Literacy Day

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 8, 2010) - Strong literacy skills are essential to helping Canadians build stronger families and communities, declared the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, as she marked International Literacy Day.

"Around the world, improving literacy can improve the social, economic and health prospects of individuals and communities," said Minister Finley. "Here at home, it is no different, and our government is proud to help Canadians build the foundational skills that are so vital to building success now and in the future."

Established in 1965 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, International Literacy Day is celebrated on September 8 with the goal of raising awareness about the importance of literacy and essential skills around the world.

In Canada, literacy and essential skills programs and activities are supported by the federal, provincial and territorial governments, and by a variety of businesses and voluntary organizations. Through the Department's broad range of labour market programs, which includes the Office of Literacy and Essential Skills, the Government of Canada works in collaboration to ensure that adult Canadians have the skills they need to participate fully in the labour market and in their communities.

"Low literacy is a big issue in Canada, with over 40 percent of the working-age population scoring below the minimum level needed to function in a knowledge-based economy," added Minister Finley. "That is an issue our government is addressing, as we take action to prepare our workforce for the jobs of tomorrow."

The Office of Literacy and Essential Skills also offers skills assessment tools that can help businesses and individuals identify and assess skill strengths and areas that may require upgrading. These tools are available on the following website:

Supporting Canadians' literacy and essential skills is a key part of the Government's commitment to creating the best educated, most skilled and most flexible workforce in the world.

This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.

Contact Information

  • Office of Minister Finley
    Michelle Bakos
    Press Secretary
    Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
    Media Relations Office