Summer Institute 2010: Workplace Literacy and Essential Skills - What Counts? and Why?


Documents Produced for the Institute


What Happened at the Institute


Introduction: What Counts, and Why? What Happened

Summer Institute 2010 was the largest participatory learning event in The Centre’s history, attended by more than 100 individuals from across Canada, the U.S, the U.K., Australia, and New Zealand.

Several key issues emerged. It was suggested that “return on expectations” (ROE)  may be a more appropriate concept for workplace LES than “return on investment” (ROI). A distinction was made between “measuring” and “capturing” softer outcomes/results, and participants were surprised by the large investment in education made by fast-food giant McDonalds in the UK and US.

This Institute followed up on the 2009 Summer Institute, What Works and Why? 

  • What do employers value most from WES programs?
  • Why have studies in the UK and NZ come to different conclusions about the outcomes of WES?
  • How can some existing tools be used to capture competencies that are not measured well by standardized tests?
  • How can we use existing structures and mechanisms, such as labour market agencies and intergovernmental tables, to share current and emerging knowledge?
  • How can apprenticeship programs and workplace essential skills programs be better aligned or work more collaboratively together?'



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