Reports & Data
State of Learning in Canada
Uncertain economic times can profoundly affect the financial and social well-being of families and communities. To decrease our vulnerability, Canada needs a skilled and flexible workforce, capable of adapting to continuous economic change.
The key is continuous, lifelong adult learning and workplace training.
Canada’s formal education sector is of a high standard—however, it alone cannot provide Canadians with the range of learning opportunities necessary for economic well-being and greater social equity (particularly during difficult economic times).
Adult learning—all forms of learning undertaken by adults beyond initial education and training—can help to foster a more secure future for Canadians and Canada.
What is human infrastructure?
Investments in human infrastructure (the education and skills of a labour force) can offer even more powerful and lasting benefits than investments in physical capital (e.g., roads, buildings and equipment). In fact, it has been shown to be three times as important to economic growth over the long run.
While training expenditures are often the first to be curtailed during uncertain economic times, this is exactly when investments in training should be made.
Simply put, adult learning and training can act as a protective and preventative factor during times of economic instability by:
Canada’s future prosperity depends on the strength of its learning sector and a range of complementary learning opportunities that meet the needs of all adult Canadians—regardless of educational attainment, age, socio-economic status or level of skills.
Following the recommendations of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Canada can begin to address the challenges faced, both in the short- and long-term, by: