Elevate: Testing New Delivery Models to Better Meet the Needs of Adults

The past decade has brought about immense change in industry and the general nature of work. These changes have impacted all individuals, but none more so than adults with low levels of educational attainment. The food industry is one such industry that has been radically transformed by international competition and technological change.

To help determine how to better train low-skilled adults for various entry-level occupations that now require higher skill levels, Essential Skills Ontario, in partnership with the Food Processing Human Resource Council (FPHRC), is working on a new initiative - Elevate Canada: Raising the Grade for Food Processing (Elevate).

Why test this new approach?
- As more and more industries become more technologically advanced, all employees, particularly those with low levels of educational attainment, need to be adequately trained to incorporate these new technologies into their every day work
- In order to meet these types of requirements, necessary skill sets for these types of positions need to be better defined – and a more effective way of delivering the necessary training needs to be determined
- This approach will start to bridge the gap between literacy and essential skills providers, industry, service providers and employers to co-design and deliver the proper training these adults require
- The goal of Elevate is to provide a roadmap for policymakers, industry and service providers with the promise of real and lasting returns over time

This initiative – as outlined in the new brief, Elevate: Testing New Delivery Models to Better Meet the Needs of Adults - points towards the kind of solutions that could provide a better alignment between the needs of those sectors who have work to offer, so that Canadian industry can grow while providing vulnerable individuals with the opportunity to increase their labour force attachment.

The initiative will attempt to replicate promising approaches used elsewhere, including the United States and the U.K., which – to much success – fully integrate basic skills with hands-on vocational skills. Pilot testing will occur at 10 food processing sites across Ontario with the hope that this type of approach can be replicated and adapted to other industries as well.

Read the French version, Élévation: Mise à l’essai de nouveaux modèles de prestation pour mieux répondre aux besoins des adultes, 2014 here.