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Analyst with OLES Outline OLES LES Nat’l Dialogue- what we learned OLES Tools
OLES part of HRSDC, a federal government department- CPP, EI, Foreign Credential Recognition Programme Mandate centre of expertise” with a labour market focus, building awareness and capacity in “what works” for improving the literacy and essential skills of adult Canadians. Programming- funds projects Partnerships- working with CIC and Provinces, Service Providers, Academic Institutions, Literacy organizations, Employers Tools- Research- policy team that looks at theoretical issues, Int’l Surveys (IALS. PIAAC)
LES are 9 skills needed to function in a knowledge-based economy such as Canada Needed for work, learning and life Developed by HRSDC through extensive research more detail later
Research shows that LES are important for: Increased job opportunities Higher earnings
LES distinction between newcomers and Canadian born based on IALSS, (Int’l Adult Literacy and Skills Survey) Official language fluency and literacy has been identified as barrier to labour market integration, despite of education, a wage gap between newcomers and Canadian born exists Source: IALSS 2003- 60% of recent and established immigrants lack the necessary skills ….some issues with IALSS ( Eng/Fr test) but regardless newcomers may face barriers to labour market integration related to Skills e.g. Oral communication/ soft skills, intercultural as well as literacy. Statistics Canada 2009- Despite having higher levels of education, recent immigrants are…..
To further understand issues/ barriers facing newcomers, OLES worked with CIC to organize a national Dialogue of immigrant LES
Safeway was on an employer panel in Calgary. Safeway is a large grocery store chain in W. Canada that has engaged in various innovative initiatives to hire, retain and promote newcomers in various positions within their company. LES issues facing Safeway important to labour force growth, Eng Skill not sufficient, Government, Service Providers, and Educational Institutions can play a vital role by: developing tools/ practices to assist with the integration of new immigrants; ensuring that programs provide immigrants with the skills that are in demand in the workplace Other Findings from Nat’l Dialogue Many employers recognize skills issues but need solutions for upgrading or need links to service providers or other stakeholders that are involved in LES upgrading. Need to engage and consult with employers (especially SMEs) to understand their needs and provide customized support to help them with their hiring, recruitment and training of newcomers.
SAIT was on a practitioners panel in Calgary. SAIT is a polytechnic in Calgary that has also developed innovative LES initiatives for newcomers L2 means 2 nd language learner, ESL/FSL LES issues for SAIT Oral Communication, sector-specific vocab an issue Lack of skills barrier to success in school and entry to workforce Other Findings from Nat’l Dialogue Newcomer LES is a complex issue, there is no cookie cutter solution, must have tailored approaches i.e different approaches for foreign trained professionals, low-level learners, skilled trades.
Free on-line (pdf) or can be ordered Ease –of-use- intuitive, clear instructions, easy to administer
NOTE ABOUT TOOLS OLES Tools developed by ES Research Project (ESRP, mentioned before)- over 3000 stakeholders were interviewed- employers, academic institutions, practitioners, to determine skills needed for various professions. The ES methodology adapted scales from Int’l Adult Literacy Skills Survey (IALSS) and the Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) however, the tools are not directly aligned to CLB levels but the Canadian Centre for Language Benchmarks is developing a comparative frameworks to relate the CLB to ES. The ES methodology is presently being updated to reflect new skills.