A couple of months ago, Statistics Canada released information that would impact each person living in Canada – whether you were born here or not. By 2031, the country's visibility minority will double. This means the new visible minority will be Caucasians. This means the Employment
Equity Act will have to change. The minorities, defined by the Act, are 'persons other than Aboriginal peoples who are non-Causcasians in race and non-white in color.”
Many Canadians didn't see this coming. That's probably because of 'lack of segregated data' that Gay McDougall, a United Nations independent expert on minority issues, noted in her report. She acknowledges what the visible minorities know – there are gaps in education, employment, income and housing between minorities and their mainstream counterparts.
These two facts – the visible minority becoming the majority and the areas where there are gaps – should be enough to propel us to start preparing for the shift. In a country like Canada, we have the means and opportunities to earn more money, more respect and to experience a better lifestyle. And it all starts with education.
Adults cannot afford not to upgrade their skills. There are advances and progress in every industry so no matter where you work, much has changed since you first learned the skills for your job.
Now more than ever before, you have more career paths to choose from. The most difficult choice will be which course and will it be full-time, part-time, online, in physical classrooms, distance learning, etc.
Many adults believe that they are too old to learn more or learn something new. Here are two popular misconceptions about adult education:
- It's only for the young. Not true. What you learned during the first twenty years of your life is academic and does not equip you with skills for a workforce that has changed so drastically since.
- It costs too much and not worth the expense. Not true. Lack of updated skills or new skills often sabotage promotions and salary increase. Let me ask you this: can you afford not to upgrade your skills or learn new ones?
Here are some reasons why you should consider going back to school for formal or vocational training:
- Advances in technology can eliminate jobs
- Be prepared for career changes – either by force or by choice
- Position yourself for coming changes in the Canadian society
- Improved chances of promotion and better-paying jobs
- Continued adult learning inspires children
- Opportunity to choose courses that interest you
- Upgrade existing skills or qualifications
Adult education along with your life and work experiences will narrow the gap in education, employment, income and housing as mentioned in the UN report.
For some, it may not be as easy as described here. They may have to consider time, financial or family obligations first. Before discarding the idea completely, discuss your plans with your family, employer or mentor and consider all the training options available.
Check out these sites to see what is offered: