We define workforce literacy as programs and services that help less-skilled people find employment, move into a new job in a specific labour market, or enter training such as the trades. The programs include things such as pre-trades upgrading or job readiness training for adults with few essential skills.
We define skills development programs as those designed to give workers job-specific training. For example, programs that teach workers how to use a new piece of equipment or technology. Workers need to already have essential skills to truly benefit from skills development programs.
The Conference Board of Canada uses the term employability skills to describe the basic set of skills, attitudes and behaviours people need to:
Employability skills are the generic set of skills that people need throughout all career and life development activities. Employability skills are not the same as essential skills, but they are connected. Employability skills are skills described from the employer’s point of view; essential skills are described from the worker’s point of view. Employability skills include attitudes and behaviours that employers look for.
The labour force includes employed and unemployed people 15 years and older that participate in the wage economy. Labour force participation rates typically do not include people involved with land-based activities – although some people think they should. How we define unemployment affects labour participation rates. For example, the ‘looking for work’ definition includes only people actively looking for work; the ‘no work available’ definition includes people that no longer look for work because they see no work available where they live.
Workers are people with jobs, people actively looking for work and people not actively looking because they see no work available for them – but would if they did. Employers include government, business and non-profit groups.