ERIC Number: ED335442
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
The Impact of Employee Illiteracy on Canadian Business. Report 58-90-E.
DesLauriers, Robert C.
A study was conducted to analyze the impact of employee illiteracy on Canadian businesses. The opinions of 626 vice presidents of human resources or general managers were collected in a random sample of 2,000 Canadian establishments with more than 50 employees and 300 head offices of larger firms (25 percent return). The information was supplemented by a series of 13 case studies and a round table of literacy experts. Some of the principal findings of the study were as follows: (1) 70 percent of the 626 surveyed companies feel that they have a significant problem with functional illiteracy; (2) 26 percent of employers responding report that illiteracy has slowed down the introduction of new technology, and 34 percent report that it impedes training; (3) 27 percent of reporting companies indicate that product quality is adversely affected by illiteracy in the work force; (4) 40 percent of companies see the effects of illiteracy in errors in inputs and processes in production; (5) problems with functionally illiterate workers arise in all regions of the country and in all economic sectors; and (6) the industrial sector with the most acute problems of functional illiteracy is the restaurant, accommodation, and hospitality sector. The study concluded that Canadian business is conscious of illiteracy in the workplace and that many companies have been moving to deal with it. However, increasingly complex workplace requirements in the future will necessitate changes in education to ensure literacy and the nation's competitiveness. (15 charts/tables) (KC)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Conference Board of Canada, Ottawa (Ontario).