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  • News
  • June 30, 2017

Ontario Equipping More Adults with Essential Job Skills for Free

Province Doubling Investment in Literacy, Math and Digital Skills Training

NEWS                                                                                                            June 30, 2017

Ontario is expanding free skills training for adults to help an additional 80,000 people improve essential literacy, math, and digital skills and prepare for the changing economy.

The Hon. Liz Sandals, MPP for Guelph, visited Action Read in Guelph today to announce additional funding for Guelph and Wellington and Dufferin Counties’ literacy and basic skills organizations. The increase is made possible by an historic new investment in essential skills training that will double Ontario’s support for essential skills training to reach an additional 80,000 adult learners over the next four years. 

As the economy and labour market become more technology- and knowledge-based, new skills are required. Fifteen per cent of working-age adults in Ontario have difficulty understanding calculations, reading instructions or working with a computer. This new investment will help adult learners in Guelph and Wellington and Dufferin Counties get the training and skills they need to pursue employment, training and educational goals in a changing economy.  In particular, the following sites will see funding increase over the next four years: 

Site Name


2017/18 Increase ($)

2017/18 Increase (%)

Action Read Community Literacy Centre




Wellington County Learning Centre




UGDSB – Dufferin Centre for Continuing Education




UGDS – Wellington Centre for Continuing Education




Investing in essential skills training in Guelph and Wellington and Dufferin Counties is part of our plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives. 


“This significant investment in essential skills training is great news for adult learners in Guelph and Wellington and Dufferin Counties. Ontario will double its support for Literacy and Basic Skills training over the next four years, and that will help more people in Guelph and Wellington and Dufferin Counties build the essential skills they need to find good jobs, advance their careers and fully contribute to their communities.”
— Liz Sandals, MPP for Guelph

“The economy is changing and this government is determined to see that no one is left behind. To do this, we need to ensure Ontarians of all ages and at all stages of their lives are able to easily access high-quality training that will prepare them for the jobs of today and tomorrow. That’s why our government has made this investment in literacy and essential skills that will help an additional 80,000 adult learners across the province.”
— Deb Matthews, Deputy Premier, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development


  • Ontario’s investment of $185 million over 4 years will double its support to improve and upgrade literacy and essential skills training by 2020- 21, helping 80,000 additional learners through the Literacy and Basic Skills program.
  • The Literacy and Basic Skills program will receive a total increase of $20M in 2017/18, $25M in 2018/19, $55M in 2019/20 and $85M in 2020/21.
  • The province supports 4 organizations in Guelph and Wellington and Dufferin Counties that offer literacy and essential skills training.
  • With the over $115,000 increase for 2017/18 across Guelph and Wellington and Dufferin Counties to operational funding and additional supports, literacy and essential skills organizations can build the capacity they need to improve their skills so they can find better jobs.
  • The Premier’s Highly Skilled Workforce Expert Panel advised that improving literacy was important to developing a workforce prepared for the demands of the modern economy, and made several recommendations to improve adult learning opportunities.
  • Studies have found that a one per cent increase in literacy can lead to a 2.5 per cent increase in labour productivity. 

 For more information, contact:

Jenny Waterston
Office of Liz Sandals, MPP
(519) 836-4190

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