Workplace closures resulting in lack of skill development opportunities for workers in Mississauga, Brampton, and Ontario

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Published August 12, 2021 at 6:07 pm

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In order to prevent further spreading COVID-19 over the last 18 months, younger Ontarians have been studying remotely, rather than in schools.

Experts believe the lack of interaction and socialization with their peers has had a profoundly negative effect on school-aged children’s ability to focus and learn during this time.

However, it’s not just the younger generation that has been affected.

A recent report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) found that workplace closures due to lockdowns have had a negative impact on adults’ learning opportunities as well.

According to the findings, for most adults, learning is done informally—often in the workplace. As a result of these extended closures, skills are being lost, and these learning opportunities likely won’t be easily recovered.

Because of this, business’ productivity and workers’ wages could both be negatively impacted in the future.

Additionally, the lack of learning opportunities during the pandemic has affected those who need these opportunities the most—lower-skilled workers are both more likely to rely on informal learning for skill development and less likely to be able to work remotely due to closures.

Based on the findings, the average worker missed 60 to 90 minutes of informal learning per week during the lockdown, accounting for more than 75 hours of missed learning opportunities throughout the past 18 months.

“While many adults spend most of their time learning on the job, during critical times such as these, it’s important to find alternate ways to keep your skills sharp,” Elizabeth Robinson, programs director at ABC Life Literacy Canada, said in a news release. 

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