The past two decades presented significant economic challenges for Canadians without a post secondary credential. Individuals with low education and skills are more likely to be unemployed than their more educated counterparts and when they are unemployed take longer to become re-employed (Hansen, 2007).
In the context of the current global financial crisis, the importance of the education and skills gap is even more significant. Economic restructuring and associated large-scale permanent job losses in the manufacturing sector means that retraining will likely be required for large numbers of low-skilled and semi-skilled, long-tenured workers. In the past, some observers questioned whether training for low-skilled adults is an effective strategy (see Heckman, 2000).
Now with mounting evidence of changing and rising skill requirements, the question has become not whether training works but which training works for which kinds of individuals under which kinds of circumstances. In other words, the effectiveness of training programs is likely to depend on the interaction between program design and delivery, individual needs and capabilities, and broader structural features of the policy and economic environment.
Published: September 2011
Capability: Policy Research
Policy Area: Adult Learning - Adult Training
Population: Low-skilled Workers