Newfoundland and Labrador gets D grade on education, skills report card

Published on June 26, 2014

Newfoundland and Labrador has been given a “D” grade on The Conference Board of Canada’s first “How Canada Performs: Education and Skills” report card, comparing the 10 provinces and 16 advanced countries.

“Newfoundland and Labrador has shown improvement in many of the basic building blocks of an educated population—notably its high school and college completion rates,” said Michael Bloom, vice-president, Industry and Business Strategy, with the Conference Board of Canada. “As the provincial economy continues to expand, Newfoundland and Labrador will need to find skilled workers."

 Among its highlights, the report card says Newfoundland and Labrador has shown great improvement in high-school and college attainment rates, but student skills are relatively weak. The province was given “D” grades for the high number of adults with low literacy, numeracy, and problem-solving skills.

 The province received a “B” on the percentage of the population, aged 25 to 64 that has completed high school — the only province to not earn an “A” grade on this indicator. However, among the provincial population, aged 25 to 34 years, 93 per cent have earned a high school diploma, on par with the rest of the country.

 In addition, Newfoundland and Labrador earned an “A” grade for the share of its population aged 25 to 64 with a college diploma.

 The report says the province’s critical weaknesses are in the areas of student skills and adult skills, where Newfoundland and Labrador is a below-average performer compared to other provinces and international peers.

 Newfoundland and Labrador achieved mostly “C” grades on the results of the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) test of 15-year-old students. It receives a “D” grade for its low proportion of students with high-level math skills, but a “B” for a comparatively small proportion of students with low-level science skills.

The province was given “D” grades for all adult skills indicators, including a “D-“ for the share of adults with inadequate numeracy skills.

How Canada Performs is an ongoing research program at The Conference Board of Canada to help leaders identify relative strengths and weaknesses in Canada’s socio-economic performance.

The education and skills report card is the second of six to be produced over the next year on Canadian and provincial socio-economic performance. The economy report card was published in May. The remaining report cards will follow over the next year.

More from the report can be read by clicking HERE.