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Government of Canada Supports Literacy and Essential Skills for A

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Dec. 15, 2009) - Inner-city adults in Vancouver who are facing multiple barriers to employment will benefit from a federally funded project aimed at improving their literacy and essential skills. Mr. Andrew Saxton, Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board and Member of Parliament for North Vancouver, made the announcement today on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development.

"Our government strongly supports partnerships with educational institutions to improve the literacy and vocational skills Canadians require to help them get jobs and build better futures," said Mr. Saxton. "In today's economic environment, it is more important than ever that all Canadians have the skills they need to participate in the job market."

Simon Fraser University will receive $765,452 over two years for its Literacy Lives project through the Adult Learning, Literacy and Essential Skills Program. Participants will benefit from literacy and essential skills training that is integrated into programs offered to them through community organizations or delivered as online training modules. This will help these individuals to overcome their barriers to employment and integrate into the labour market, or enroll in post-secondary education programs.

"This funding will allow the Literacy Lives project to develop an innovative model and tools for delivering literacy and essential skills in areas where a traditional approach may not be effective," said Ms. Judy Smith, Acting Program Director of Community Education Programs, Continuing Studies, Simon Fraser University. "These skills will provide individuals with valuable tools that will assist them in succeeding in the workforce, pursuing an education and contributing to their community."

Literacy and essential skills are key in ensuring that Canadians can fully participate and succeed in the workforce. The Government of Canada's Office of Literacy and Essential Skills works with partners such as provincial and territorial governments, employers and community organizations to provide Canadians with the tools and supports they need to maximize opportunities for themselves, their families and their communities.


About the Office of Literacy and Essential Skills

The Government of Canada created the Office of Literacy and Essential Skills with a mission to become an acknowledged centre of expertise on what works in increasing the literacy and essential skills of adult Canadians. The Office's activities focus on improving the literacy and essential skills of adults for participation in the workplace, the community and family life.

While Canada currently faces economic uncertainty, skills shortages remain a significant challenge. The Government of Canada is helping individuals develop the skills they need so they can get jobs and build better futures. To make this happen, the Government is investing $36 million this year in the Office of Literacy and Essential Skills.

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