OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Sept. 27, 2013) -

Editors Note: A photo for this release is available on the Canadian Press picture wire via Marketwired.

Today, in celebration of the fourth annual Essential Skills Day, the Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister, Employment and Social Development joined officials from ABC Life Literacy Canada, RESDAC and Skills Canada to tour workforce training programs at Algonquin College.

Essential Skills Day is a nationwide initiative celebrated annually in September to raise awareness about the importance of workforce training and the nine essential skills. The day aims to demonstrate to employers and employees the importance of workforce training as a solution to unlocking a more productive Canada.

"The Government of Canada is committed to helping Canadians obtain the skills and training needed to successfully secure jobs and succeed in the workplace," said the Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development and Minister for Multiculturalism. "Essential Skills Day is an opportunity to recognize the important work of ABC Life Literacy Canada and our many other partners to improve literacy and essential skills across the country."

The unprecedented impact of technology has affected virtually every job. As the level of job skills required changes rapidly, the need for skilled employees is increasing. Even established jobs that could once be filled by workers with minimal skills now require much higher levels of training.

"For those Canadians who have low levels of literacy, the job market is becoming less accessible. By investing in literacy and essential skills training, we can start to close the skills gap," said Gillian Mason, President of ABC Life Literacy Canada. "It's important that employers integrate lifelong learning into the workplace, to ensure that all Canadians have the skills they need to live a fully engaged life."

"A lack of essential skills in our workforce is holding back Canada's economic potential," said Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. "Without these basic skills, too many employees won't benefit from the training and learning that's needed for our economy to succeed."

A study by the Conference Board of Canada indicated that employees in workforce training programs take more ownership of their work, make better decisions and become more engaged within the organization. Another clear benefit was increased health and safety, as workforce training helps employees better understand safety rules and procedures, leading to fewer injuries, reduced insurance costs and less employee downtime.

Visit for resources, tools and case studies profiling successful workforce training programs across Canada.

About ABC Life Literacy Canada:

ABC Life Literacy Canada is a non-profit organization that inspires Canadians to increase their literacy skills. We mobilize business, government and communities to support lifelong learning and achieve our goals through leadership in programs, communications and partnerships. ABC Life Literacy Canada envisions a Canada where everyone has the skills they need to live a fully engaged life. For the latest news and information on adult literacy please visit, follow us on Twitter or join our Facebook page.

Contact Information:

Heather Cosentino
Communications Specialist
ABC Life Literacy Canada
1-800-303-1004 ext. 127

Anthony Alfred
Director, Communications and Marketing
ABC Life Literacy Canada