Insights & Analysis

November 15, 2022

PODCAST: Episode #83: The Brief: Literacy & The Economy

When you think about literacy, what comes to mind? If you are like most people, it’s simply the ability to read and write. However, literacy is more than that. Think about this: while most Canadians can read and write, just over half of Canadians can read and write well enough to reach their full potential. And part of that means being able to adapt to the rapidly shifting skills required for current and future jobs.

For individuals with lower levels of literacy, this means missing out on potential jobs, career growth, or other opportunities. For businesses, this means competitiveness and innovation are at risk. And for the economy, this means overall economic growth and productivity are at risk as well. 

To better understand the connection between literacy and the economy—and what business leaders can do to ensure their employees are skilled and ready for disruption—we are speaking with Janet Lane, Director of the Human Capital Centre at the Canada West Foundation.

Janet breaks down the state of literacy in Canada, the connection between literacy and the labour market, and why this issue is not just a social one—it’s economic.

In this episode:

  • Looking at literacy beyond reading and writing
  • State of literacy in Canada and Alberta
  • Top myths about literacy
  • Economic impact of literacy rates
  • Costs of not improving literacy rates
  • Solutions to improve literacy rates


About The Brief

In this series, co-hosts Scott Crockatt and Brittany Brander explore the big challenges we face as Albertans; celebrate stories of growth, innovation, and prosperity; and discover bold ideas to make life better for Albertans. See more episodes here.

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We don’t often associate literacy rates with economic growth, but the two are very connected. In this episode of #TheBrief, @BizCouncilAB looks at the economic impact of literacy rates in Canada with Janet Lane from @CWFoundation. Share this episode

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