Advanced Education, Skills and Labour
November 18, 2019

The following statement was given today in the House of Assembly by the Honourable Christopher Mitchelmore, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour:

Minister Highlights Adult Literacy Action Plan

Mr. Speaker, it is truly an honour to rise today in this Honourable House to highlight The Way Forward on Adult Literacy, the province’s partnership-driven adult literacy action plan.

The five-year plan includes 30 actions and was developed through engagement with key stakeholders such as adult learners, adult literacy service providers, Indigenous groups, community organizations, industry, labour, and post-secondary education institutions. I was pleased to see many of these stakeholders at the official launch of the plan at The Murphy Centre on October 17.

Mr. Speaker, literacy is more than just reading and writing - it is the ability to find, understand, create, communicate, and compute using printed and written materials in different situations. Our vision for Newfoundland and Labrador is a strengthened adult literacy system that helps people get the literacy skills needed to lead healthier, more productive lives, and fully take part in the province’s economy.

The Adult Literacy Action Plan will be supported by $60 million in funding over five years and will be implemented in three phases. The first phase includes 12 actions to be completed by March 2020. We will work with adult literacy stakeholders to build on existing strengths, improve current programming and services and develop new programs to support adult literacy.

One of the highlights of launching the plan was hearing the personal, inspiring story of Gladys Pardy from Marystown, this year’s recipient of the Council of the Federation Literacy Award. After dropping out of high school and spending over 30 years in the workforce, she made a life-changing move by going back to school to complete adult basic education. After finishing her program early, Gladys is now enrolled in the child and youth care worker program at Keyin College.

Mr. Speaker, I invite all members of this Honourable House to join me in congratulating Gladys Pardy. I look forward to more inspiring stories like hers as we continue the important work of advancing adult literacy throughout the province.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

2019 11 18                              1:50 p.m.