|ILLITERACY & UNEMPLOYMENT|
When talking about illiteracy, we must also talk about poverty and unemployment. People with literacy problems in Canada have 2/3 the income of other Canadians, are twice as likely to be unemployed, and many more times more likely to receive some form of social assistance. Jobs available to lower-literacy adults tend to be the lowest-paid, and the most insecure. (National Anti-Poverty Organization: NAPO Facts, October, 1992)
Limited reading, writing, and math skills mean fewer opportunities for employment. In today's "high-tech", information-based economy, literacy skills are a must. Even manual and service sector jobs often require a minimum of Grade 12 education. The IALS report summarizes the changes to the so-called "new economy" in this way:
All the students and instructors I interviewed recognize that literacy education is a very important step toward employment. Here are some of their comments:
While illiteracy is a major impediment to employment, few would agree that it is the only factor. Other barriers exist as well, many of which are the result of structural disadvantages such as poverty and racism.
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