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Improving Quality of Life in the Northwest through Literacy and Basic Skills

Press Release

September 12, 2023 – Who are the literacy and basic skills learners in Northwestern Ontario? And are they different from learners elsewhere in the province? These are the questions posed by Northern Policy Institute’s latest policy note on the labour market in the North.

In 2021 and 2022, more of those learners did not have a source of income, had not completed grade 12, and self-identified as First Nations, Métis, or Inuit. Fewer of them were women, had a college diploma or university degree, self-identified as a person with disabilities, and had been referred in from or out to Employment Service Providers. As well, fewer of the learners in the Northwest self-identified as francophone when compared to the rest of Northern Ontario.

These insights help Literacy Northwest (one of the three regional networks that support the delivery of such services for adults in Northern Ontario) get to know the learners in the Northwest better. By knowing the profiles of literacy and basic skills learners in the Northwest, Literacy Northwest can better understand how programs in their regional network help those seeking literacy and basic skills services and offer better support to the delivery of such services for adults in Northern Ontario.

“This policy note provides critical insights into who was seeking and being served by literacy and basic skills services in Northwestern Ontario in 2021 and 2022,” said the author, Bryanne Rocha. “Literacy and basic skills are pillars of quality of life; they allow many to seek employment, further their education, or increase their independence. Therefore, this note contributes to improving the quality of life in the Northwest,” she said.

Want to learn more? Read the report here.


Media Interviews: NPI President & CEO, Charles Cirtwill, and NPI Senior Policy Analyst Bryanne Rocha are available for comment. To arrange an interview, please contact:

Charles Cirtwill

President & CEO



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