The gender representation of respondents was 41% male and 59% female. According to the 2001 Census Information collected by Statistics Canada, 48.6% of residents of PEI are male and 51.4% are female. By comparison, there are slightly more females than males enrolled in Adult Education than the provincial average.
The age group represented by most respondents was 18 to 25 year olds (34 %). It could be argued that the individuals in the 18-25 group have left the public school system — either after graduating or leaving prematurely — and realized that they do not have the credentials or skills to attain life-long employment. It would be expected that these students have had some job experience and have decided they need more education to further employment, or more likely, to seek post-secondary education. Most of these 18 to 25 years olds would be receiving support from parents, government agencies (EI or provincial assistance).
The next two groups, 36 to 45 year olds and 46 to 55 year olds, most likely have been employed and, for various reasons, are changing careers. It would be expected that these individuals have accumulated larger amounts of debt (for houses, cars, loans, etc.) and have children who are school-aged.
The group of 26 to 35 year olds would be those individuals most likely to have pre-school aged children and have obtained employment sufficient to “make ends meet”, but who cannot leave work to upgrade (would not be eligible for EI benefits) and for whom childcare expenses would be too high to make attending school in the daytime particularly challenging.
The over-55 age group was the least represented group. This stands to reason as it can be presumed that these individuals would have found employment — either working or staying at home — and are not likely to change careers this close to retirement.