Manufacturing AUTOMATION

Features Education Education & Training
Family, work conflicts keeps older Canadians from pursuing training


December 22, 2009
By Manufacturing AUTOMATION

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Growing numbers of Canadians, particularly middle-aged and older Canadians, participated in job-related education or training in 2008 compared with five years earlier, Statistics Canada reported in its latest Access and Support to Education and Training Survey.

Family responsibilities, needing to work and conflicts with work schedules were cited as the most common reasons for not pursuing further education or training. In addition, more Canadian families are saving for postsecondary education.

In 2008, 36 percent of adults aged 25 to 64 participated in job-related education or training activities, up from 30 percent in 2002. At the same time, 32 percent of adults reported that they wanted to further participate, but did not, an increase from 26 percent in 2002.

The reasons reported for not taking further education or training have changed over time. In 2002, financial barriers were more often cited as obstacles to participating in education or training. In 2008, adults were more likely to cite non-financial barriers, such as conflicts with their work schedules or family responsibilities.

Participation in job-related education or training was more prevalent among middle-aged Canadians.

Between 2002 and 2008, the largest increase in participation occurred among middle-aged people, followed by older Canadians. The increase was less pronounced for younger Canadians. Consequently, for the first time, adults aged 35 to 44 had participation rates similar to younger adults aged 25 to 34. Participation in job-related education or training was highest among the 25 to 34 age group (43 percent), followed closely by the 35 to 44 age group (42 percent). The rate fell to 29 percent for adults aged 45 to 64.

Family responsibilities, needing to work and conflicts with work schedules were the most common reasons for not pursuing further education or training. These reasons differed between age groups.

The report can be found in the Publications module at www.statcan.gc.ca. Choose Publications by subject, then Education, training and learning.