Dec. 17, 2009
FREDERICTON (CNB) - A new adult literacy strategy to help New Brunswickers attain the literacy skills they need to participate fully at home, at work and in their communities, was unveiled today by Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Donald Arseneault. The strategy, Working Together for Adult Literacy: An Adult Literacy Strategy for New Brunswick, contains 12 short-term action items.
More than $10 million has been invested in literacy-related activities for the current year 2009-10, an increase of almost $4 million over last year to support the advancement of the short-term action items. The plan outlines initiatives already underway to improve the quality and effectiveness of adult literacy and related programs.
"This strategy will create the best opportunities to help adults learn," said Arseneault. "Adult literacy targets and a long-term action plan for 2010-14, outlining the priorities and objectives of the strategy, will be released this winter. Our long-term plan will align with the key literacy indicators currently under development by the Council of Atlantic Ministers of Education and Training (CAMET) to support the Atlantic literacy strategy outlined in Literacy: Key to Learning and Path to Prosperity - An Action Plan for Atlantic Canada 2009-2014, released in September 2009. In the meantime, our department will continue with its short-term action plan, which includes a number of new initiatives and ongoing activities."
The strategy was developed after consulting more than 50 stakeholder groups from provincial and regional community organizations, business, labour and government. It focuses on four priorities: reducing barriers and increasing participation; increasing the number and range of adult literacy learning opportunities; ensuring the quality and effectiveness of adult literacy programs; and strengthening partnerships to develop a robust and effective adult literacy system.
Among the department's efforts to work with New Brunswickers to improve adult literacy skills in all sectors of society are:
Arseneault said that the literacy strategy helps to address some of the commitments of the New Brunswick Economic and Social Inclusion Plan, Overcoming Poverty Together. Adult literacy is vital in furthering two of the priority items from that plan: strengthening the ability of low income people to enter the skilled workforce through the provision of training, education and volunteer opportunities as part of the transition to work, as well as on-the-job training; and reducing barriers to continuing education, making it more accessible and affordable.
"All of these efforts are to raise literacy levels to better prepare our people for contributing to a self-sufficient New Brunswick," said Arseneault. "I am proud that our government had the vision to launch this strategy. I look forward to working with our partners to improve literacy levels in New Brunswick."
Working Together for Adult Literacy: An Adult Literacy Strategy for New Brunswick is available online.
MEDIA CONTACT: Lori-Jean Johnson, communications, Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour, 506-453-2039.