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>Building the Future >>engaging >>collaborating >>transforming


Message from CLLN’s Chair of the Board of Directors, Chris Whitaker and President and CEO, Lindsay Kennedy As we began this fiscal year, we took to heart the three words we have chosen to define ourselves: Engagement, Collaboration and Transformation. Over the past year our work has helped us understand and appreciate what it truly means to work together as a board and staff team focused on our goal: placing CLLN at the leading edge of adult literacy and learning in Canada. All of our activities have been carried out within the context of the overarching organizational priorities identified in our Strategic Plan: > The expansion of our network beyond the provincial and territorial literacy coalitions, > Bringing other voices to the table to strengthen our current stakeholder base, and > Re-shaping the CLLN board structure to match skills and knowledge to strategic vision. During 2012/13 the board and staff have worked together closely to implement these three priorities. The strategic priorities both guide the development of our work plan and are realized through the key activities identified and carried out by staff. As

[innovate + engage + collaborate + connect = transform] a result we have experienced positive outcomes from our organizational renewal efforts and from the new partnerships we have established. We have also achieved key milestones in our research work, making significant contributions to the field. Now we are excited about the beginnings of promising new endeavours. The transformation of the Board of Directors to a skills-based board was completed this year. We have crafted a board with an enviable depth of skills, knowledge and expertise, and an inspiring level of insight, energy and commitment. Our core staff complement has grown, with the new additions rounding out our robust and wellbalanced team of six highly skilled and dedicated individuals who command the respect of their peers. As both the board and staff have evolved, all of us have worked hard and contributed to our efforts to position CLLN as a respected and effective national leader in the Canadian literacy and essential skills (L/ES) landscape.

In particular, the staff team needs to be acknowledged for their excellent performance in clearly articulating CLLN’s role and position in this landscape, based on our overall strategic goals, and their responsiveness to emerging issues and needs. In our transformation, we have consistently communicated a clear message to all of our stakeholders, partners and funders that we are a viable and flexible national L/ES hub.

CLLN Areas of Activity 2012/13 > conducting new national-level research [innovate] > convening meetings with a broadened stakeholder base [engage] > strengthening relationships with L/ES organizations and building new partnerships outside the L/ES field [collaborate] > communicating with L/ES stakeholders, employment skills stakeholders and Canadians [connect] [innovate – engage – collaborate – connect =} transform]

Building our relationships with key national organizations in and outside of the L/ES field has been a priority activity. CLLN has been able to develop positive and productive relationships with several national organizations and has completed a number of projects in partnership with non-L/ES national organizations.

Our key activities during 2012/13 have contributed to knowledge about and awareness of literacy and essential skills in Canada, and have strengthened our national L/ES network and ties to international and adult literacy initiatives. This past year we have demonstrated our ability to scan the national horizon, analyze labour market and other data, create thematic reports and share information that is relevant to diverse audiences—within our own field as well as within government and business. Our process is built on a high level of engagement and collaboration with multiple stakeholders. The first national “State of the Literacy and Essential Skills Field” report, developed using this process, has been well-received. We have been successful in applications for two important national projects, one of which is in partnership with another national L/ES organization. Both of these projects clearly demonstrate our ability to produce results that contribute to the research agenda of the L/ES field.

Bridging research and engagement, CLLN had the opportunity to showcase the results of our 2012 “Investing in Upskilling” report through a series of meetings and roundtables hosted during the fall and winter of 2012/13. These events solidified our respected place in the national literacy and essential skills community, and expanded and reinforced our network.

We look forward to our work in 2013/14 as we further solidify CLLN as an effective leader of the L/ES community on a national level. We will continue to do what we do best: innovative research; partner and stakeholder engagement and support; and collaborating, convening and communicating to keep CLLN at the forefront of advancing L/ES in Canada. Our goal is to build a durable, yet versatile architecture that will allow us to achieve our strategic directions—to interact, inform, influence and invest (build capacity)—as we strengthen learning as a fundamental component of Canadian culture.


All this—and more—has established CLLN as a strong player and competent, multi-faceted and responsive collaborator in the national L/ES landscape.

Chris Whitaker CLLN Board Chair

Lindsay Kennedy President and CEO, CLLN

This year CLLN developed a life-time achievement award to recognize individuals who have played key roles in the field of adult literacy education. We are honoured to announce that Ellen Szita, long-time CLLN board member and member of the organization’s learners group, will be the first recipient of this award. She will be presented with the award in British Columbia this November.


ABC Life Literacy Canada connects and mobilizes business, unions, government, communities and individuals to support lifelong learning and achieve goals through leadership in programs, communications and partnerships. CLLN and ABC are collaborating on the ‘Advancing Workplace Learning’ project.

>> Partners SRDC The Social Research OLES The Office of Literacy and Demonstration Corporation and Essential Skills (OLES) is focused on improving the Literacy and Essential Skills of adult Canadians. In partnership with OLES, CLLN is part of the Centre of Excellence, developing and disseminating knowledge and tools to prepare Canada’s workforce for the challenges of the new economies.

Public Policy Forum The Public Policy

Forum (PPF) is an independent, notfor-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of government in Canada through enhanced dialogue among the public, private and voluntary sectors. With PPF, CLLN is reaching deeper into the world of employers, engaging them in the dialogue about upskilling in the workplace.

(SRDC) is recognized as a national leader in social research and experimentation. For two decades, SRDC has been building a knowledge base and learning what works in social policy, as well as what does not work. SRDC executed the national survey of the Literacy and Essential Skills workforce.

Centre for Literacy The Centre for

Literacy is a centre of expertise that supports best practices and informed policy development in Literacy and Essential Skills by creating bridges between research, policy and practice. CLLN partners with the Centre in learning events, such as institutes and workshops, action research projects and publications.

RESDAC Le Réseau

pour le développement de l’alphabétisme et des compétences (RESDAC) works to promote literacy as a right and also to improve the Literacy and Essential Skills of adult Francophone Canadians outside Quebec. CLLN partners with the RESDAC on many levels - from workshops and forums to the national promotion of Canadian Adult Learners’ Week. This partnership is especially important as it links the French and English literacy networks.


UNESCO supports education around the world as a building block to well-


functioning democracies and peaceful societies. It is a sound investment that helps nations and communities to develop economically and socially. UNESCO works to promote education as a fundamental right. It focuses on improving the quality of education, promoting gender equality, and stimulating experimentation, innovation and policy dialogue. CLLN has an ongoing dialogue with UNESCO, as well as partnering in the promotion of Canadian Adult Learners’ Week.

CUPE With 618,000

members across Canada, CUPE is Canada’s largest union, representing workers in health care, education, municipalities, libraries, universities, social services, public utilities, transportation, emergency services and airlines. CLLN and CUPE are working together to identify ways to build support for workplace learning and addressing learners’ needs.


The Canadian Apprenticeship Forum – Forum canadien sur l’apprentissage (CAFFCA) is a non-profit organization that connects Canada’s apprenticeship community. Participants work collaboratively to support vibrant and

Building strong partnerships inspires further collaboration and stimulates innovation.

innovative apprenticeship systems and policies with a view to developing a highly-skilled, inclusive and mobile skilled trades workforce. CLLN and CAF started their collaboration this year with a survey of digital skills of apprentices desired by their employers. Other collaborators are: Council of Ministers of Education (CMEC) Canadian Chamber of Commerce The National Literacy Table Association of Canadian Community Colleges Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC)

[innovate + engage +

collaborate + connect = transform]

Labour Market Study of the Literacy and Essential Skills Workforce The study builds on the Occupational Competencies snapshot, the State of the Field Report, and two feasibility studies (CCL and Statistics Canada) from 2010/2011. A major component of the study was a large-scale, confidential survey of the L/ES workforce. The survey, which was completed by 700 workers representing every province and territory, allowed CLLN to gain a comprehensive picture of who works in the Literacy and Essential Skills field. It drew attention to the human resource issues that may affect Canada’s capacity to achieve better Literacy and Essential Skills results for Canadians. In addition to building knowledge about the current state of the L/ES workforce, the results will be used to inform policy makers at national and provincial/territorial levels. Research asked practitioners about what they value in respect to skills, knowledge, and credentials directed related to their work in Literacy and Essential Skills. It probed working conditions across the L/ES field and questioned the value of, and whether there is a need for, occupational standards and/or credentials. This knowledge will inform the National Occupational Standards project.

[innovate + engage + collaborate + connect = transform] Investing in Upskilling Roundtables

In partnership with Canada’s Public Policy Forum (PPF) and Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (CME), CLLN convened 2 roundtables in Ottawa and Toronto to explore the potential for a multi-sector approach to improving literacy and essential skill (L/ES) levels in Canada. Subsequently, based on requests

from provincial/territorial LES coalitions, roundtable discussions were held in Moncton (New Brunswick), Vancouver (British Columbia), and Winnipeg (Manitoba). Representatives from across all sectors were invited to share findings from the report, and to engage stakeholders in building partnerships for improving adult L/ES levels.

Advancing Workplace Learning

The “Advancing Workplace Learning” (AWL) project aims to inform employers about effective training and workplace practices that can enhance the essential skills of employees and create a culture of learning. The project will foster a greater understanding of what brings employers to the table to engage in and maintain workplace education programs, as well as the features and infrastructures that support workplace education in a variety of settings and company sizes. In turn, CLLN will be able to make recommendations for national and provincial/territorial improvements for WL/ES implementation, and to establish new and enhanced partnerships between employers and learning partners. This project is a collaboration of CLLN with ABC Life Literacy Canada

Integrated Planning and Reporting Tool

CLLN is creating a resource that contains descriptions of projects funded over the last seven years, with an emphasis on information such as target audiences, key features, and outputs with links. The emphasis will be on results. The objective is to create a continuously updated tool that can be used by L/ES stakeholders working in a variety of capacities. An effective method of sharing this information will enhance the current state of knowledge and support the needs of researchers, administrators and practitioners in L/ES organizations, and community organizations working with L/ES topics.


Responding to the needs identified by the L/ES field by creating innovative new ideas, resources and tools.

>> Projects Learning Success: The Voice of Workers

CLLN and the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) embarked on the Learning Success project together to provide a voice to Literacy and Essential Skills (L/ES) learners within the workplace. CUPE is a strong supporter of literacy training and, in collaboration with the Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators (CAMA), has been a pioneer in workplace education programs since the late 1990s. In the first phase of the project, work was done to consolidate information on workplace L/ES materials/tools

and existing reports that relate to needs as described by workplace learners. A report soon to be released online through CLLN’s website includes learners’ voices expressed through existing reports and through CUPE’s Members Literacy Council. Feedback from CUPE Education Representatives and Literacy Working Group Members in also incorporated, along with feedback from L/ES experts. The report includes a Literature Review, covering CAMA and CUPE tools and resources, and general L/ES resources. A number of activities are suggested to promote learning culture in the workplace.CLLN would like to thank Isabelle Boucher and Patricial Nutter from CUPE for their support and collaboration.


Effective partnerships generate new ideas and can lead to the creation of innovative projects with the potential to transform lives.


[innovate + engage + collabo CLLN outreach to targeted audiences is building awareness of L/ES among Canadians and expanding our stakeholder base.


Bringing different perspectives and complementary skillsets to the table fosters the development of innovative new projects with the power to transform.

orate + connect = transform]


Going forward, CLLN will work to optimize our network to effectively support the enhancement of adult learning in Canada.


Connecting the L/ES field across Canada – in schools, the workplace and in the community.

>> knowledge mobilization Webinar Wednesdays CLLN’s winter webinar series where we profile CLLN projects and project findings, as well as respond to the Field’s needs to timely information and capacity building. Last season’s line-up was: Measuring Impact: Telling Your Story to Social Investors Investing in Upskilling: Gains for Individuals, Employers and Government State of the Literacy and Essential Skills Field in Canada Applying Performance Based Funding to Literacy and Essential Skills

Digital Technology Snapshot

> how digital technology is used,

The Digital Snapshot of the Literacy and Essential Skills Field takes a look at how literacy coalitions and frontline delivery agencies are using digital tools. Conducted from January to March 2013, the research phase of the project included interviews and online questionnaire responses. The information provided by the 29 participants represents a cross-sectoral picture of :

> what the field would like to see in the future.

Flagship websites CLLN is now managing and hosting three key websites to support Literacy and Essential Skills in Canada:, a landing portal for all things L/ES related, - a resource for employers, employees and workplace trainers and l/, the new portal for L/ES practitioners.

> what challenges are being faced, > how emerging issues are being managed, and

LiteracyEXPRESS CLLN’s newsletter that responds to issues relevant to the Literacy and Essential Skills Field with timely, indepth analysis and information. This year’s issues were focused on the State of the Field, Practitioners and Adult Learning.

Lindsay Kennedy CLLN instant blog in the response briefs commissions experts in the Huffington Post CLLN Field to provide stakeholders with a An opprtunity to add to a broader public debate from the point of view of the CEO, this new channel has proven extremly popular.

on PIAAC: Big Data Release on Adult Literacy and Skills Just Around the Corner

solid interpretation of interpretation of breaking news, major reports and policy directions So far we have published:

Brigid Hayes: a briefing note on what the budget 2013 states about the Labour Market Agreements (March 21, 2013) Brigid Hayes makes sense of PIAAC reports (October 9, 2013)

on Learn at Work Week: Does Your Workplace Have a "Learning Culture"? on ILD 2013: How Literacy Has Evolved in Canada on National Aboriginal Day: Celebrating Aboriginal Literacy and Learning on ALW 2013: Adult Learners' Week 2013: Never Stop Learning pre-budget release: Supporting Literacy Would Be the Best Investment Jim Flaherty Could Make

PIAAC updates A email newsletter delivering news and analyses of PIAAC in Canada as the become available. The large distribution list extends accross all sectors, reaches into the farthest cornaers of Canada, and connects to the international L/ES community.

[innovate + engage + collaborate + connect = transform]

[innovate + engage + collaborate + connect =

transform] Increasing Financial Literacy Skills and Knowledge One of our primary goals is to transform and enhance the ways in which literacy is integrated into all aspects of an individual’s life - at home, at work and in the community - and to ensure that literacy, as an issue, is better understood by multiple stakeholders. Over the years our initiatives have included work on the linkages between literacy and poverty, literacy and rural service delivery, literacy and social justice, literacy and the rights of individuals to access service delivery. The aboriginal population is the fastest growing segment of Canadian society. This project will provide aboriginal youth, young adults and older adults, and organizations that work primarily with aboriginal clients with culturally sensitive tools and resources that will strengthen an individual’s ability to make sound financial decisions.

National Occupational Standards National Occupation Standards (NOS) are used to recognize the work of individuals in a particular field and are common in many professions and yet we do not have them in the L/ES field. CLLN hosted a facilitated panel discussion at its national June meeting and produced a detailed handout for participants. There was considerable support for moving forward. CLLN will produce 3 videos (The role of NOS, NOS for L/ES and the Process for Developing NOS) and invite stakeholders to participate in the development process. As a

neutral organization, CLLN can bring together stakeholders to ensure a common understanding of NOS and to promote collaboration using a formal but inclusive process that ensures maximum uptake in their development and use. Endorsement and validation by stakeholders is a part of the process. NOS will improve collaboration and provide increased knowledge of the roles and responsibilities of L/ES staff. It will help employers to choose training providers and help to inform training needs for L/ES staff.

Literacy and Essential Skills – A Curriculum Model for Friendship Centres Research indicates that although several models for training in L/ES have been developed for Aboriginal communities, there are limited L/ES resources that adequately address the diverse needs of Urban Aboriginal populations. Sustainable funding for L/ES programs within Friendship Centres is either not available or quite inadequate as compared with the high demand and need for these services. Youth and adults often rely upon L/ES programs that are not necessarily sensitive to the unique socio-cultural needs and realities of the urban Aboriginal populations..

> Literacy and Essential Skills – Roundtable Series

Building a durable, yet versatile network architecture that will strengthen learning as a fundamental component of Canadian culture.

>> Opportunities

Undertake a new set of roundtables to present results from the new PIAAC Report, and to engage stakeholders in using evidence from the survey to develop policy and implement effective programming In addition CLLN is working with potential partners to explore the following areas of interest for new projects. > Looking at the role played by literacy

and essential skills in health promotion, disease prevention, nutrition and community health. > Connecting with stakeholders to work on developing a common understanding of digital technology (formerly known as ‘computer use’) as an essential skill.

ExECutivE Chair: Vice-Chair: Treasurer: Secretary:

Chris Whitaker Kim Crockatt Helen Allen Chester Cheang

>> Board and Staff BoArd MEMBErS


Johanna Faulk Ningwakwe George Janet Lane Nancy Thompson

Laura Carlson – Executive Assistant “LMS” and “Advancing Workplace Learning” Projects Nilambri Ghai – Field Development Liaison Claire Hall- Project Manager “Advancing Workplace Learning” Chris Harwood – Manager of Field Development Annette Hegel – Manager of Communications Lindsay Kennedy – President and CEO Teresa LeGrand - Communications Specialist Anne Ramsay – Project Manager, Labour Market Study Pat Sample – Administrative Assistant Genevieve Tilden – Research and Communication Assistant Darlene Toop – Financial Officer


CLLN gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the Government of Canada's Office of Literacy and Essential Skills (OLES)/ESD for core and project funding. We also express our appreciation for the funds received from project partnerships, membership fees and donations.



The financials have been compiled from CLLN’s audited statements. Auditing services have been provided by Rheume Williams Kalbfleisch, LLP. A detailed auditor’s report is available at:



Total revenues


2012 $944,468




Salaries and Benefits



Professional Fees



Meetings and Conferences








Total Expenses




Current Assets



Capital Assets





Total Assets

Liabilities and Net Assets Total Liabilities Total Net Assets Total Liabilities and Net Assets


2012 $148,060






Our Vision Canadian society values literacy and lifelong learning at home, at work and in community. Our Mission We share knowledge, engage partners & stakeholders and build awareness to advance literacy and learning across Canada.

Building the Future: engaging; collaborating; transforming  

Annual Report for the fiscal year 2012/2013 of Canadian Literacy and Learning Network (CLLN)

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