Funding: Literacy and Essential Skills

Funding Channels

Most requests for funding, by the Office of Literacy and Essential Skills (OLES), are through Call for Concepts (CFCs) and Call for Proposals(CFPs). However, we may periodically solicit proposals outside a Call process and occasionally accept unsolicited proposals.

Call for concept papers and Call for Proposals

Eligible organizations and their partners are invited to submit concept papers and proposals that address specific criteria and priorities. It is important to note that a variety of factors can affect the number and timing of CFCs and CFPs.

Solicited Submissions

Occasionally, we solicit proposals outside the CFC process in order to take on a very targeted project to address a gap in a priority area. This gives us the flexibility to develop more complex projects to increase expertise in particular areas based on specific knowledge gaps and needs. To invest funds in an effective and timely manner, we work directly with organizations that have particular expertise and a track-record of success in the area identified.

Unsolicited Submissions

Occasionally, we accept unsolicited submissions that address a labour market issue linked to a literacy and essential skills problem, need or gap. Only projects that are national in scope are considered.


Please note: OLES does not provide funding for training services or for the operating needs of training providers. Its efforts complement those of provincial and territorial governments, which are the primary funders of LES training services.

To ensure that your organization and proposed project are eligible for funding, please review the following eligibility criteria before you apply.

Who can apply?

The following organizations can apply:

  • Not-for-profit organizations;
  • For-profit organizations – (For-profit organizations may be eligible for funding provided that the nature and intent of the activity is non-commercial, not intended to generate profit, and supports program priorities and objectives);
  • Municipal governments;
  • Aboriginal organizations (including band councils, tribal councils and self-government entities); and
  • Provincial and territorial governments, institutions, agencies and Crown Corporations.

Basic Objectives

Projects must support at least one of the following basic objectives:

  • address employability issues by developing LES knowledge and/or resources that help adults get jobs or improve their employment prospects;
  • address workplace issues, including digital skills challenges, by developing LES knowledge and/or resources that help adults perform better in their jobs and advance in the workplace; and/or
  • fill knowledge gaps by developing LES knowledge and/or resources for adults that improve our understanding of what works for adult LES.


Any organization receiving funding is required to report on the results achieved.

Core-funded organizations are required to complete the Annual Performance Report, while project partners are required to complete the Project Results Report.

Annual Performance Report and Environmental Scan (for core funded organizations)

Organizations that receive core funding will be required to complete the Annual Performance Report (APR) and environmental scan in order to report on overall performance. The report asks the organization to critically analyze how it is managed, what it has achieved and what it plans to achieve.

Organizations are required to complete the APR which includes information on:

  • basic profile and budgetary information on the organization
  • a self-assessment of their performance (how it is managed) in the following seven areas:
    • governance
    • results and performance
    • risk
    • people
    • stewardship
    • client-focused service
    • accountability
  • actions to be taken to close gaps in performance among the seven areas noted above
  • a review of results in terms of what it plans to achieve (outputs and outcomes)
  • an environmental scan which provides details on the state of literacy and essential skills in their particular jurisdiction or areas of expertise

Project Results Report

Organizations are required to use a Project Results Report (PRR) throughout the lifetime of the project to demonstrate the overall performance and achievement of results. The report has a results-based approach to project management. It also have an assessment of the project's contribution to building the expertise, tools and partnerships to ensure that Canadians obtain literacy and essential skills needed for work, learning and life.

Specifically, the PRR summarizes the:

  • expected and actual results of the project;
  • activities and outputs that will be carried out to achieve the results;
  • possible issues which could affect the success of the project; and
  • overall progress of the project.