FREDERICTON (GNB) – The following message was issued today by Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Martine Coulombe in recognition of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO's sponsorship of International Adult Learners' Week, March 24 - April 1:

New Brunswick is pleased to support the Canadian Commission for UNESCO's efforts to promote International Adult Learners' Week 2012 and to support Canada's commitment to promoting education and adult literacy for sustainable development.

Literacy levels and essential skills play an integral role in the development of vibrant communities, a more skilled and efficient workforce and a stronger economy in New Brunswick.

This is why we support community-based literacy initiatives through our partnerships with the Community Adult Learning Network and services through Laubach Literacy New Brunswick and la Fédération d’alphabétisation du Nouveau-Brunswick, which provide one-on-one tutoring for adults to improve their literacy skills.

In addition, the Workplace Essential Skills program provides an alternative approach to delivery that helps employed and unemployed adults attain the literacy and essential skills they need to participate fully in today's workforce.

Learning can be a powerful instrument for change – improving our overall health, civic engagement and quality of life. Our government will continue to work with our many community stakeholders to enhance current efforts, reduce barriers to participation for adult learners and explore new ways to support adult literacy in New Brunswick.

I thank all of our partners for the important contributions they have made. I also thank adult learners who have courageously taken the initiative to return to learning, and I wish you all the best in your continued progress.