CEOs warn Canadians of dangerously low literacy, numeracy rates

December 2, 2013

The Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE), representing 150 Canadian CEOs, says Canada’s educational systems are failing to develop the literacy and numeracy skills necessary to ensure graduates can transition into the workforce successfully. In a recent speech, CCCE head John Manley warned audience members that the issue “must be addressed if industry is to have a viable future workforce.” Manley cited an OECD study that showed Canadian students ranked 8th and 10th in science and math respectively. However, Manley did acknowledge that Canadian business does lag behind many countries in on-the-job training, due to the fact that many believe that “training is something that is the responsibility of the educational system, not the employer.” Manley says greater collaboration needs to take place between industry and educational systems, and that more information needs to be shared amongst education leaders and government to identify solutions to the problem. The CCCE will also be conducting a series of studies that explore the root causes of these educational deficits and their connection to the job market and perceived skills shortage. Financial Post