Workplace Literacy and Essential Skills

This new training program at Educacentre is designed to help francophones in BC fulfill their potential as a resource within BC’s economy.

Essential skills and literacy programs have already demonstrated how basic training enhances the capacity of a workforce.  We are proposing a French-language program to complement the established English version, on the understanding that people learn most efficiently and effectively in their native language.

42% of the population experience problems with reading and basic math that potentially limit their productivity in the workplace.  This number is higher among Francophones (56% versus 39% among Anglophones), and even higher still among Francophones living outside of Quebec.  Until now, the 63,625 people in Vancouver who claim French as their first language as well as French-speaking immigrants, have only had access to basic training programs in which their ability to learn is hindered.     

For a number of years, Educacentre College has taken the initiatives to improve the above situation. The College has been conducting action-based research and assessing province-wide issues since 1992. We are confident in undertaking this project in order to develop the options for our province to address basic skill deficiencies.

Information for Employers

What will you gain from participating in this project ?

Research shows that employers who invest in improving their employees’ literacy and basic skills gain a number of benefits which translate into higher company profits.  The bottom-line is that more skilful employees improve performance and productivity, saving time and money.

There is substantial evidence that employers who support literacy and basic skills development enjoy a more conscientious, resourceful, loyal and dependable workforce as a result. When employees learn that high-quality work is crucial to the success of the organization and to their own job security, they often become more conscientious. Once they become fully aware of what is expected of them and how their efforts fit into the big picture, and then gain the skills to meet those demands, the quality of their work generally rises.

More skilful employees are often more confident employees. Confidence translates into creativity and initiative that, in turn, contributes to the overall performance of the organization.

The benefits of providing basic training can include:

  • reduced error rates
  • a better health and safety record
  • reduced waste in production of goods and services
  • increased customer and employee retention
  • a more conscientious, resourceful, loyal and dependable workforce
  • a higher quality of work
  • more confident employees
  • increased creativity and initiative    

Your Role as the Employer

Our goal is to work with you as the employer to ascertain the most beneficial training structure for your company.  We will ask you about the specific jobs your employees perform, and what skills you would like to see developed.  The program will be based on your answers and any concerns you identify to us.

If you are unsure what type of training would most benefit your company, we can assess your employees for you and design a program tailored to your work situation. In any case, we train with your needs in mind so we may ensure that you are satisfied with the outcome.

The following list outlines our suggestions for your participation:

  1. Giving us direct (on the floor) or indirect (via letters and announcements) means of addressing your employees while we assess their, and your, needs.
  2. Actively participating in the recruitment of your employees for training courses; however, if you are unable to contribute this level of involvement we will take charge of the process and inform you at every stage of development.
  3. Giving your employees time to attend skill training.

Participating in this project will give your company the opportunity to be recognized as one of the initial contributors to an important and progressive program to strengthen the inclusiveness and diversity of the BC economy.


If you would like to participate, or if you would like more information, please contact us:

Bassirou Diene
Project Manager
Workplace Literacy and Essential Skills
Phone: 604-708-5100 ext. 1205 or 1-800-747-4825
Fax: 604-708-2315

Workplace Literacy and Essential Skills

Important links

Essential Skills are the skills needed for work, learning and life. They provide the foundation for learning all other skills and enable people to evolve with their jobs and adapt to workplace change.

Workplace Literacy Central is a free resource with information, tools and advice for Canadian organizations and employers who want to raise literacy and basic skill levels in the workplace.

The mission of the BC Construction Industry Skills Improvement Council, SkillPlan, is to develop strategies to improve the essential skills of people working in the unionized construction industry in British Columbia and the Yukon Territory.

Canadian Literacy and Learning Network (CLLN) is the national coalition advancing literacy and essential skills across Canada. CLLN provides leadership, knowledge and expertise about literacy and essential skills and develops partnerships with stakeholders across Canada.

As a digital library, the National Adult Literacy Database links the diverse players and builds a united literacy community.

A department of the Government of Canada, Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) was established in 1987 under the provision of the Western Economic Diversification Act. WD works to improve the long-term economic competitiveness of the West and the quality of life of its citizens by supporting a wide range of initiatives targeting three inter-related strategic priorities - innovation, entrepreneurship and community economic development. Together, these three priorities create a foundation to build the prosperity and competitiveness of the West in the 21st century.

The HRSDC’s mission (for Department of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada) is to build a stronger and more competitive Canada, to support Canadians in making choices that help them live productive and rewarding lives, and to improve Canadians’ quality of life.
List of Publications

Founded in 1983, the Chamber of Commerce Franco-Colombian (CCFC) is a non-profit organization. Its mandate is to develop and improve trade relations between French speaking business people within British Columbia.

As a non-profit association, AJEFCB's goals include contributing to the professional development of French-speaking jurists in B.C., the promotion of access to justice in French in B.C., facilitating and improving the exercise of French language legal rights in B.C., and assuring that existing French language rights respecting access to justice are maintained.

For more than ten years, RDÉE Canada (Réseau de développement économique et d’employabilité) has collaborated with provincial and territorial organizations (12 RDÉE) to enhance the vitality and support the development of Francophone minority communities.

The Society of Economic Development of British Columbia (SDECB) represents the interests of the francophone community's economic sector by promoting the development of business, fostering entrepreneurship among francophones and ensuring the dissemination of information concerning the economy.

Conseil Scolaire Francophone de la Colombie-Britannique (francophone education authority): The CSF’s mission is to offer innovative educational programs and services which promote and enhance the development of cultural identity as well as the full development of Francophone learners in the province. Furthermore, the CSF actively contributes to the development of the Francophone community in British Columbia.