Spotlight on Essential Skills in latest Canadian Apprenticeship Journal

OTTAWA, June 16, 2011 /CNW/ - The latest issue of the Canadian Apprenticeship Journal is now online!  This issue covers one of the major challenges in the skilled trades and for all Canadian workplaces - how to address essential skills deficiencies to, among other things, increase productivity and improve health and safety.

"Essential" skills are those Canadians need to fully participate in their workplaces, at home and within their communities.  They touch every aspect of our lives - the ability to communicate effectively, solve problems, work with numbers and understand documents.  Despite its ranking as one of the best educated countries in the world, Canada's essential skills levels fall short of workforce needs.  In 2006, the workforce had a surplus of 3.5 million Canadians at literacy level 1. At level 3, the competency required by the majority of occupations, the workforce showed a deficit of roughly 5 million employees.

"Making the grade in a trade career depends on having certain essential skills," says Jessi Zielke, Director, Strategic Initiatives of BC's Industry Training Authority.  "In fact, extensive research indicates that apprentices without these skills are far less likely to successfully complete their technical training."

Organizations across Canada have created and implemented essential skills programs and resources for both employees and employers.  In the latest issue of the Canadian Apprenticeship Journal, these organizations share their best practices and celebrate achievements.  They also assess some of the hurdles that still need to be addressed.

The Canadian Apprenticeship Journal presents high-quality, relevant research and informative feature articles to encourage sharing and debate in Canada and internationally.  Contributors include researchers, educators, policy analysts and key decision makers who focus on apprenticeship training and certification issues.  Other important contributions come from provincial/territorial apprenticeship authorities, employer and labour associations, as well as international apprenticeship bodies.  The fifth issue is available online at

The Canadian Apprenticeship Journal is funded by the Government of Canada's Sector Council Program.

CAF-FCA is an inclusive national body that brings together all of the stakeholders in Canada's apprenticeship community. Visit for more information.

SOURCE Canadian Apprenticeship Forum

For further information:

Marie Bilodeau, Communications Manager

613-235-4004, ext. 207

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Canadian Apprenticeship Forum

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