Quality of Employment in Canada
Training participation, 2022

Release date: June 13, 2023

Skip to text

Text begins

In the 12 months ending in November 2022, just under a third (30.9%) of workers in Canada had participated in job-related training outside the formal education system. Participation in training varied notably by level of education, potentially reinforcing skills gaps between workers with different levels of educational attainment. In the 12 months ending in November 2022, 39.8% of workers with a bachelor’s degree or higher had participated in training, compared with 17.0% of those with a high school diploma or less. Public sector employees (42.9%) were more likely than self-employed workers (27.6%) or private sector employees (27.1%) to have participated in job-related training.

Participation in job-related training offers benefits to both workers and businesses in a context of ongoing societal and technological change. Training helps workers become more employable or provides skills that can help them take on more responsibilities with their current employer. For businesses, training can improve productivity and make employees more confident and motivated in their jobs.

The training participation indicator is the share of workers who took part in job-related non-formal education and training over the previous 12 months. The concept of non-formal training refers to any kind of structured training, courses, or seminars taken outside the formal education system. While many employers cover all costs associated with job-related training, other forms of training may be self-funded or sponsored by the federal or provincial governments. Non-formal education and training is distinct from informal, or on-the-job training which refers to day-to-day learning at work based on observations or interactions with colleagues.

Data and analyses for this indicator are mostly based on a supplement to the Labour Force Survey collected in November 2022. The estimates are not adjusted for seasonality and refer to the population aged 25 to 64. Additional data points from the Adult Education and Training Survey (AETS) and the Access and Support to Education and Training Survey (ASETS) are also reported for the same age group.

Historical trends

Based on data from the LFS, 30.9% of workers aged 25 to 64 had participated in job-related training in the 12 months ending in November 2022.

According to results from the AETS, the proportion of workers aged 25 to 64 who had participated in job-related training over the previous 12 months was similar in 2002 at 31%. This was up from 1993 (26%) and 1997 (23%)Note . Based on data from the ASETS, in 2008, 36.3% of employed 25-to 64-year-olds had taken part in job-related non-formal education or training during the previous 12 months.

A recent snapshot

In the 12 months ending in November 2022, participation in job-related non-formal education and training was relatively similar across the provinces, with Alberta recording one of the highest rates at 32.5%, while Ontario (29.9%) and Manitoba (30.0%) posted somewhat lower rates.


Table 1
Participation of workers (%) aged 25 to 64 in job-related training by province, 12 months ending in November 2022
Table summary
This table displays the results of Participation of workers (%) aged 25 to 64 in job-related training by province. The information is grouped by Province (appearing as row headers), Took non-formal job-related training (%) (appearing as column headers).
Province Took non-formal job-related training (%)
Canada 30.9
Newfoundland and Labrador 31.1
Prince Edward Island 31.3
Nova Scotia 30.5
New Brunswick 30.7
Quebec 32.3
Ontario 29.9
Manitoba 30.0
Saskatchewan 32.1
Alberta 32.5
British Columbia 30.4

The likelihood of taking part in job-related training varied notably by level of education. In the 12 months ending in November 2022, 4 in 10 (39.8%) workers with a bachelor’s degree or higher had participated in training, compared with 3 in 10 (29.3%) among workers with postsecondary education below the bachelor’s and fewer than 2 in 10 (17.0%) among those with a high school diploma or less.Note 

Chart 1 : Participation of workers aged 25 to 64 (%) in  job-related training by level of education, 12 months ending in November 2022

Data table for Chart 1 
Data table for chart 1
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for chart 1 Job-related training participation, calculated using percent units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Job-related training participation
percent
Total 30.9
High school diploma
or less
17.0
Postsecondary below
a bachelor's degree
29.3
Bachelor's degree
or higher
39.8

While the training participation rate was relatively similar for workers aged 25 to 34 (32.5%), 35 to 44 (33.7%) and 45 to 54 (31.8%), workers aged 55 to 64 (23.9%) were less likely to have taken training in the previous 12 months, pointing to possible challenges in ensuring that workers of all ages keep up with ongoing technological and societal changes. Overall, women (33.1%) were slightly more likely to have participated in training than men (29.0%).

Although self-employed workers must fund their own training or obtain financial support from other sources such as the federal or provincial governments, they may have more freedom than employees to take time off for training and other learning activities. In the 12 months ending in November 2022, self-employed workers (27.6%) were about as likely as private sector employees (27.1%) to have taken job-related training. Participation in job-related training was higher in the public sector, where more than 4 in 10 employees (42.9%) had taken part in job-related training during the previous 12 months.

Immigrants represent a growing proportion of the labour force and play a critical role in addressing skills shortages across the country. In the 12 months ending in November 2022, employed immigrants were less likely (27.4%) to have received job-related training than workers born in Canada (32.4%). The lower prevalence of training participation among employed immigrants was observed despite a larger proportion of them holding a bachelor’s degree or higher (53.0%) compared with workers born in Canada (33.0%).

In the 12 months ending in November 2022, part-time workers (26.5%) were less likely to have taken training than full-time workers (31.5%), but there was little difference between permanent (31.5%) and temporary employees (31.2%).

Another key factor which influenced access to training among employees was the size of the firm for which they were working. More than a third (36.2%) of employees working in organizations with over 500 employees had participated in job-related training in the 12 months ending in November 2022. In comparison, 21.8% of employees working in firms with less than 20 employees had taken job-related training.

Among employees, the training participation rate varied notably by industry, partly reflecting differences in the share of jobs in the public and private sectors and the size of organizations. In the 12 months ending in November 2022, nearly half of employees in utilities (48.6%) and public administration (47.6%) had taken part in training, compared with slightly over 1 in 10 in agriculture (13.6%) and accommodation and food services (13.1%).

Chart 2 : Industries with the five-highest and five-lowest  training participation rates (%) among employees aged 25 to 64, 12 months  ending in November 2022

Data table for Chart 2 
Data table for chart 2
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for chart 2 Non-formal job-related training participation, calculated using percent units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Non-formal job-related training participation
percent
Accommodation and food services 13.1
Agriculture 13.6
Retail trade 20.1
Manufacturing 21.3
Business, building and other support services 22.6
Health care and social assistance 40.0
Educational services 41.8
Professional, scientific and technical services 41.9
Public administration 47.6
Utilities 48.6

Start of text box

Information on the indicator

Description or definition

The training participation indicator is the number of workers aged 25 to 64 who received job-related nonformal education and training in the last 12 months, expressed as a percentage of all workers in that age group.

Source

Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey, 2022.

Statistics Canada, Labour Market Indicators Supplement, April 2022.

Adult Education and Training Survey, 1993, 1997 and 2002.

Access and Support to Education and Training Survey, 2008.

Information for interpretation

For more information on the Labour Force Survey methodology and population coverage, please consult the Guide to the Labour Force Survey, 2020.

Detailed information on concepts and methodology are also available for the Adult Education and Training Survey and the Access and Support to Education and Training Survey.

The November 2022 LFS Supplement was collected as part of the Labour Market Indicators program. The sample consists of households in their 2nd, 3rd, 4th, or 5th month of participation in the LFS and the survey population is limited to those aged 15 to 69 living in the provinces. For more information see Labour Market Indicators.

The LFS estimates are based on a sample and are therefore subject to sampling variability. The analysis focuses on differences between estimates that are statistically significant at the 95% confidence level. Due to rounding, estimates and percentages may differ slightly between different Statistics Canada products, such as analytical documents and data tables.

Occupations are coded according to the National Occupational Classification (NOC) 2016, while industry coding is based on the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) 2017.

Other related information

Additional Statistics Canada data are available on the following subject:

Education, training and learning statistics

End of text box

Report a problem on this page

Is something not working? Is there information outdated? Can't find what you're looking for?

Please contact us and let us know how we can help you.

Privacy notice

Date modified: