When it comes to confronting Canada’s skills and labour shortages, there are four key priorities, according to a Canadian Chamber of Commerce report, including ensuring immigration policy is aligned with local labour markets and employers’ needs.
2012 has been the tipping point for Canadian business confronting skills and labour shortages. A crisis that had been hidden by the recession is now fully apparent. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce released a report on a series country-wide skills consultations undertaken throughout the past year: Canada’s skills crisis: what we heard.
As part of the Top 10 Barriers to Canadian Competitiveness initiative, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and its network held its largest-ever consultation with membership on a single issue: the skills crisis. The Chamber hosted roundtable discussions in 14 locations, and mobilized their network to lead the conversation, asking for their best practices, and polling their opinions via eight online surveys. The extensive consultations will inform and guide the work of the Canadian Chamber in the months and years ahead.
As it moves from the consultation phase to action, the Canadian Chamber has identified four key priorities:
- Upskilling – Upgrading the skills of the existing labour force and better employ under-utilized groups
- Immigration – Ensuring immigration policy is aligned with local labour markets and employers’ needs
- Education – Improving the connections between educators and employers to balance supply with demand for skilled trades and highly skilled occupations
- Aboriginal peoples – Focusing on education and workforce development especially in the West and the territories where the economic and social opportunities and risks are greatest for this population.