Supporting lifelong learning

From: Employment and Social Development Canada

Overall summary

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Canada has the most educated workforce in the world

Canada has the highest rate of university and college attainment

Table: OECD ranking, university and college attainment
Position in ranking Country Percentage (%)
1 Canada 57%
2 Japan 51%
3 Israel 51%
4 Korea 48%
5 United States 46%
OECD average all OECD countries 38%

Source: OECD (2018). “Education at a Glance 2018: OECD Indicators”, Table A1.1., Educational Attainment of 25-64 year-olds (2017).

Figure 1: Over time, Canadians are getting more educated
Figure 1 - Text version
Table: Over time, Canadians are getting more educated in the world
Level of attainment 25 to 64 year-old Canadians 2006 2011 2016
University, college and trades 60.6% 64.1% 64.8%
High-school diploma or equivalent certificate 23.9% 23.2% 23.7%
No certificate, diploma or degree 15.4% 12.7% 11.5%

Source: Statistics Canada, 2016 Census of Population; Statistics Canada, 2011 National Household Survey; Statistics Canada, 2006 Census of Population.

Note: OECD ranking excludes trade and apprenticeship education, while Canada includes trade and apprenticeship in its total post secondary education (PSE) attainment figures.

Government supports youth to get the education and training they need to enter the job market

Student financial assistance

Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP)

Canada student loans and grants

Ensuring skills align with labour market needs

Student Work Placement Program

Youth Employment and Skills Strategy

* Employment and Social Development Canada results only

Source: ESDC program information

Governments also have good tools to help people retrain when they lose their job

Figure 2: Number of clients that have benefitted from skills training and employment assistance 2017 to 2018, by program
Figure 2 - Text version
Table: Number of clients that have benefitted from skills training and employment assistance 2017 to 2018, by program
Programs Number of clients
Labour Market Development Agreements
(Employment Insurance (EI) funding transfer to P/Ts)
Total funding: $2.2 billion
695,911
Workforce Development Agreement
(non-EI funding transfer to P/Ts)
Total funding: $797 million
433,370**
Skills Boost
(Canada Student Grant top-up for adult learners and EI support for adults who want to return to training and education)
Total funding: $98.1 million
65,100*

*Figure includes both EI and Canada Student Grant top-up from 2018 to 2019

**Estimates based on 10 of 13 P/Ts reporting; may include some clients served through leveraged P/T and employer funds; clients may be counted more than once if served by multiple interventions.

Source: Canada Employment Insurance Commission, “2017 to 2018 Employment Insurance Monitoring and Assessment Report”, Table 4; Annex 3.1; Annex 3.5; Employment and Social Development Canada program information.

While estimates vary about the pace and magnitude of coming changes, there is a consensus that automation will affect many jobs, including jobs requiring high skills

Figure 3: Predictions vary on proportion of workers at risk of automation in next 10 to 20 years
Figure 3 - Text version
Table: Predictions vary on proportion of workers at risk of automation in next 10 to 20 years
Researcher / Institution Percentage (%)
OECD 13%
McKinsey & Company 18%
C.D. Howe Institute 35%
Frey and Osborne 42%

Source: Lamb (2016) estimates based on the methodologies of Frey and Osborne (2013) and Chui, Manyika and Miremadi (McKinsey & Company) (2015); Oschinski and Wynoch (2017); OECD (2019)

This means that upskilling will be a must for most Canadian workers, and employers can do more

Figure 4: Barriers to participating in education and/or training
Figure 4 - Text version
Table: Barriers to participating in education and/or training
Barrier Percentage (%)
Did not have prerequisites 2%
Something unexpected came up 3%
Lack of employer support 6%
Training at inconvenient time or place 12%
Childcare or family responsibilities 17%
Too expensive 19%
Too busy at work 30%

Source: OECD (2017), “Education at a Glance 2017: OECD Indicators”, Table C6.1b using data from the Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC)

Table: “In your country, to what extent do companies invest in training and employee development?” (World Economic Forum, 2018)
Position in ranking Country Score (out of 7)
1 Switzerland 5.9
2 United States 5.8
3 Luxembourg 5.5
4 Malaysia 5.4
5 Netherlands 5.4
20 Canada 4.9

Source: World Economic Forum (2018), “The Global Competitiveness Report 2018” survey of business executives

Figure 5: The most vulnerable are least likely to participate in adult learning
Figure 5 - Text version

Low-skilled Canadians are least likely to participate in adult learning, while higher-skilled Canadians are more likely to participate. The difference between low- and high-skilled workers' participation in training, according to 2019 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) data, is approximately 40 percentage points.

Source: Keese, M. (2019); “OECD Employment Outlook 2019: The Future of Work” using data from the Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC, 2012)

While PSE institutions are adapting to meet Canadians' changing education and training needs, more can be done and individuals often face barriers to participation

Government programs such as the Canada Education Training Benefit are helping to address three conditions for success

However, it is harder to design and implement tools to ensure Canadians have the information they need

Motivation

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