Current Projects

Skilling Up Environmental Services

Funded by the Office of Literacy and Essential Skills

AWES is leading this initiative in partnership with DataAngel Policy Research Incorporated. The AWES research will evaluate whether information about the benefits of Workplace Essential Skills training and financial incentives can induce employers to invest in Workplace Essential Skills upgrading for their employees. Second, it will test whether making these financial incentives conditional upon participants realizing average skill gains of at least 25 points improves the level of employer commitment.

The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development, announced the project in his keynote speech at the Social Enterprise World Forum in October 2013.

This project helps private companies such as hotels and grocery stores pay for the cost of upgrading the literacy and essential skills of employees. Once employees achieve certain test results, the Federal Government will fund up to 35% of the training costs and a further 15% if employees retain those skills a year later. The overall objective is to boost skills and productivity in the Canadian economy.

Driving Investment

Funded by Alberta Human Services

AWES is raising the profile of essential skills in Alberta through an employer-awareness campaign combined with professional development for essential skills practitioners. The project includes ongoing research to identify the dynamics that promote learning in organizations.

Focus on Investment II

Funded by Alberta Human Services

This project equips non-native speakers with the language skills to meet safety expectations in their Canadian workplaces. The English through Workplace Safety e-learning program integrates language training with workplace safety concepts and targets non-native speakers with lower English language skills. The project also includes creating an e-learning version of the Construction Safety Training System-09 Study Guide.

Building a Skilled Workforce with the Alberta Council of Disabilities Services (ACDS)

Funded by Alberta Human Services

The premise for this project is to develop ACDS’ internal organizational capacity, through Workplace Essential Skills (WES) training and resources, to work effectively as a diverse workforce serving Alberta’s multicultural population.  As an association, the Alberta Council of Disability Services (ACDS) supports service provider organizations working with people with developmental, physical or mental disabilities. As a workforce, ACDS member organizations are experiencing increased diversity in terms of the cultural and language backgrounds of both their staff and their clients. Needs have been broadly articulated as follows: English language skills and communication, cultural differences and views on people with disabilities, completing documentation and administering medication, as well as leading others. These equate to primary WES gaps in oral communication, thinking skills and document use. These in turn impact skill gaps in reading, writing, working with others and continuous learning.