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NL Government: Provincial Government Launches The Way Forward on Adult Literacy

by ahnationtalk on October 17, 201964 Views

October 17, 2019

The Provincial Government today launched The Way Forward on Adult Literacy, a five-year action plan to help adult Newfoundlanders and Labradorians get the literacy skills they need to lead healthier, more productive lives and fully participate in the province’s economy.

The Honourable Christopher Mitchelmore, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour, launched the document at the Murphy Centre in St. John’s. The centre offers an enhanced and alternative high school and career experience designed to meet the unique needs of learners. Minister Mitchelmore was joined by Tim Turner, Director of The Murphy Centre; Gladys Pardy of Marystown, recipient of the 2019 Council of the Federation Literacy Award; as well as a number of stakeholders.

Supported by $60 million in funding over five years, the Adult Literacy Plan identifies 30 actions the Provincial Government and its partners will take to provide adult learners with increased opportunities to strengthen their literacy skills by improving the province’s adult literacy system. These actions will:

  • Raise awareness about adult literacy programs and services;
  • Increase access to adult literacy programs and services;
  • Enhance programs and services for adult literacy;
  • Improve employability of persons with literacy challenges; and,
  • Measure progress of provincial adult literacy

The partnership-driven plan will be implemented in three phases over five years, the first phase includes 12 actions to be completed by March 2020.

Example of actions to support these objectives include:

  • Working with training and service providers to improve intake and referral processes, including recognition of prior learning experience;
  • Make the Adult Basic Education program more flexible, including alternatives to classroom-based learning such as online and blended delivery options;
  • In collaboration with Newfoundland and Labrador’s public libraries, develop programming to help adult learners strengthen their literacy;
  • Partner with Indigenous governments, groups and organizations to explore initiatives to address the unique literacy needs of Indigenous peoples;
  • Introduce career development components into the Adult Basic Education program; and,
  • Develop and launch a pilot program, in partnership with employers, labour, and training providers, to delivery targeted crucial literacy skills training for key sector-based workers.

The plan was developed based upon engagement with key stakeholders such as adult learners, adult literacy service providers, Indigenous groups, community organizations, industry, labour, and post-secondary education institutions.

Studies have shown that increasing literacy skills in the workforce by one per cent will contribute to a three per cent increase in the GDP and contribute to an over two per cent increase in productivity. Higher skilled workers will attract higher wages, increase consumer expenditure and business investment.

To view the complete plan, visit The Way Forward on Adult Literacy .

This comprehensive adult literacy plan complements other efforts in support of economic diversification and private sector employment growth, including the Cabinet Committee on Jobs. The plan also delivers on commitments in The Way Forward to strengthen the province’s economic foundation and deliver better services and better outcomes to residents. The Way Forward outlines all actions the Provincial Government is taking to achieve a strong, diversified economy and can be viewed at

“Strong literacy skills are the foundation of success. Literacy is more than just reading and writing; it is the ability to find, understand, create, communicate, and compute using printed and written materials in different situations. Essential skills are also an important part of literacy. They are the first skills needed to learn other skills. Investments in The Way Forward on Adult Literacy will help make sure Newfoundlanders and Labradorians have the opportunity to acquire and enhance these skills. We will continue to work with stakeholders including industry, labour, and training providers, to ensure individuals are given every opportunity to succeed.”
Honourable Christopher Mitchelmore
Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour

“We recognize that people learn in different ways. As with government, The Murphy Centre recognizes the importance of investment in learning. This Provincial Adult Literacy Plan is an investment in the individual, social, cultural and economic fabric of our province and will provide critical tools to assist learners achieve their learning and career goals. The Murphy Centre has a long and successful history of meeting the educational needs of individuals in Newfoundland and Labrador, and we look forward to working with government to implement this plan.”
Tim Turner, Director
The Murphy Centre

“I wanted to complete the Adult Basic Education Program because it was something I needed to feel that I had accomplished in my life. What comes so easy for most people, had become a challenge for me. Even though an education at the time was important, my family was even more important. Years ago, I did what I could, and now I am continuing with what’s important to me.”
Gladys Pardy
2019 Council of the Federation Literacy Award Recipient

– 30 –

Learn more
News Release: Premier Ball Announces 2019 Council of the Federation Literacy Award Winner

The Way Forward on Adult Literacy

Media contacts
Ryan Crocker
Advanced Education, Skills and Labour
709-729-1795, 709-725-9595

Tim Turner
The Murphy Centre

Gladys Pardy
2019 Council of the Federation Literacy Award Recipient


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