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Several recent research studies emphasize the negative consequences that functional illiteracy is having on Canada's competitive positon
Illiteracy has long been portrayed as a social and educational problem. In recent years, however, we have come to understand the economic consequences of the lack of literacy skills for Canada and for Canadian business.
In 1988, the Canadian Business Task Force on Literacy estimated that illiteracy costs business $4 billion each year in lost productivity. A 1990 survey by The Conference Board of Canada with assistance from the National Literacy Secretariat found widespread concern about illiteracy among managers in establishments with more than 50 employees. Indeed the survey indicates that there are well over one million workers in Canada who are functionally illiterate. This lack of literacy and numeracy skills poses difficulties with strategic human resources, management and operational objectives and goals. In a broader sense, the extent of these problems and the number of industries and sectors affected are cause for concern as …