Summary Report - Workplace Literacy and Essential Skills Research Project - The Financial, Strategic, and Intangible Value of Essential Skills Training
A Firm-level Investigation in the Canadian Manufacturing Sector
Prepared by: Canadian Manufacturing Network, Div. of Excellence in Manufacturing Consortium
The Workplace Literacy and Essential Skills Research (WLESR) project was implemented to investigate the impact of
essential skills training on business outcomes and return on training investment in the Canadian manufacturing sector.
An associated goal was to identify those factors that contribute to effective LES training. In addition to ‘effective
practices,’ it was also hoped that this research might also help identify those barriers that impede the transfer of
learning to the job and, ultimately, to the bottom line.
Workplace Literacy and Essential Skills Research (WLESR) was implemented by Excellence in Manufacturing Consortium
(EMC) through its Canadian Manufacturing Network with funding contributions from the Office of Literacy and Essential
Skills (OLES) program, Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). To execute WLESR, EMC-Canadian
Manufacturing Network partnered with Dr. Lynette Gillis and Allan Bailey of the Centre for Learning Impact (CFLI), a
training evaluation company based in Mississauga, Ontario. EMC-Canadian Manufacturing Network employed CFLI’sHigh
Impact Evaluation™ model and toolsets to design, implement, analyze and report with case studies and best practices
This report examines ten Literacy and Essential Skills training programs. It highlights some of the effective practices as
well as those situations and barriers that can derail even the best training. Taken together, these studies illustrate how
organizations adopt strategies to improve performance, business results, or strategy.
This report demonstrates that, in order to deliver meaningful value, learning must evolve directly and organically from
the organization’s key mission objectives and business priorities. It should be designed, structured, and delivered to the
right audience, at the right time, and with full consideration for the workplace barriers that often impede the transfer of
learning into the desired performance improvement.