Workplace Literacy in PEI

Literacy is vital to the success for individuals in the workforce and for the future of the Island economy.

  • PEI’s labour force includes 80,000 people, but 25,000 of these employed workers cannot function fully in today’s knowledge economy.
  • 40,000 or 50 percent or workers are at Literacy Level 3. This is the level required to participate fully in today’s workforce. Adults performing at Level 3 can understand and respond appropriately to dense or lengthy texts. They can also perform multi-step operations and select relevant data from competing information in order to identify and formulate responses.
  • BUT, 27,000 workers or 34 percent are at Literacy Level 2. At this level, adults can only integrate two or more pieces of information based on criteria, compare and contrast, or reason about information, and make low-level inferences.
  • And, unfortunately, 13,000 or 16 percent of PEI’s workers are at Literacy Level 1 or below. At this level, adults can read relatively short digital text or print to locate a single piece of information that is identical to information given in a question or directive.
  • Despite low literacy levels, approximately 60 percent of PEI residents at literacy Levels 1 and 2 are employed.