Con­sul­ta­tions in Carbonear

Ag­ing work­force needs at­ten­tion: Lit­er­acy group

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY CHRISTO­PHER VAUGHAN

As New­found­land and Labrador’s work­force ages, so do the needs of the peo­ple em­ployed in the prov­ince.

Cen­sus data from Statis­tics Canada shows the num­ber of peo­ple in the prov­ince’s work­force grew to al­most 249,000 in 2006 from 246,000 in 1996.

In the same time pe­riod, the num­ber of peo­ple aged 15 to 44 in the work­force shrank by just over 30,000, while the num­ber of peo­ple aged 45 and above grew by al­most 33,000 peo­ple.

In or­der to ex­am­ine the chang­ing work­place and lit­er­acy skills needed by older adults, as well as the needs of busi­ness and in­dus­try em­ploy­ers, the New­found­land and Labrador Laubach Lit­er­acy Coun­cil is con­duct­ing prov­ince-wide con­sul­ta­tions and fo­cus group ses­sions.

En­ti­tled Es­sen­tial Skills Lit­er­acy Train­ing: Tools for Older Adults, the project is be­ing spear­headed by Linda Col­lier, a Bay St. Ge­orge res­i­dent and coun­cil fa­cil­i­ta­tor.

Col­lier will be in Carbonear Wed­nes­day, April 29 con­duct­ing pub­lic con­sul­ta­tions for New­found­land and Labrador Laubach Lit­er­acy Coun­cil’s Es­sen­tial Skills Lit­er­acy Train­ing Tools for Older Adults project. She will be meet­ing with the lo­cal mem­bers of Bayshore Lit­er­acy Coun­cil on Wed­nes­day evening. While in the area Col­lier would like to get in­put from the busi­ness com­mu­nity and plans to hold a dis­cus­sion group for busi­ness/or­ga­ni­za­tion rep­re­sen­ta­tives at mid­day (lunch pro­vided) at Bethany United Church Hall in Carbonear. To reg­is­ter for this group, con­tact Col­lier at 709 649-3765.

“The whole project is based on de­vel­op­ing a new train­ing pack­age that’s go­ing to ad­dress work­place and lit­er­acy es­sen­tial skills in older adults,” said Col­lier.

“There’s a gap in the (ed­u­ca­tion) sys­tem for older adult train­ing and not only that, in our own (Laubach) pro­gram­ming, what we found is over the years, we’ve just been ad­dress­ing the ba­sic skills like read­ing, writ­ing and ba­sic math - whereas now you need more in terms of com­puter use, and not only your own com­puter, but bank ma­chines, ev­ery­thing is com­put­ers.”

As an ex­am­ple, she said a me­chanic work­ing in this prov­ince years ago wouldn’t need com­puter skills, but might now need an up­grade in their com­puter skills to help them stay com­pet­i­tive in the work­force.

Col­lier said once the con­sul­ta­tions are com­plete, the data will be pro­cessed and then tu­tors will be able to of­fer ex­panded es­sen­tial work­place and lit­er­acy skills train­ing to those who need it.

For more in­for­ma­tion, or to in­quire about com­plet­ing the ques­tion­naire one­self, con­tact Col­lier at 643-6699 or pub­lic­consul­ta­tion­fa­cil­i­ta­tor@gmail.co m. The coun­cil’s web­site is www.nald.ca/nl­llc/

The Ge­or­gian

Ge­or­gian photo

Linda Col­lier is head­ing up a prov­ince-wide project to look at the lit­er­acy needs of the prov­ince’s ag­ing work­force. She will be in Carbonear this week for meet­ings and pub­lic con­sul­ta­tions.

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