A new report from the Conference Board of Canada has found that in Ontario alone, the gap between the skills that workers have and the skills that employers need is costing the province almost $24-billion per year. Despite the increasing university-graduation levels, employers say that one in five positions cannot be filled.
Despite being one of the most educated countries in the developed world, Canadians are falling behind in the skills that matter most in today’s economy, argues Conference Board of Canada Vice-President Michael Bloom. A recent OECD report ranked Canada 15th out of 19 countries in technological problem solving, reflecting Canadians’ poor testing in numeracy, literacy and problem solving.
Bloom argues for a post-secondary education strategy that will bring together members of private sectors, the government, universities, trade schools, apprenticeship programs and community services. He says that an empirical focus on cooperation, communication and coordination can help these institutions and stakeholders come together to produce workers whose skills are valued and needed in today’s economy.
The Conference Board of Canada is helping to push this goal by launching its own Centre for Skills and Post-Secondary Education with a summit in Toronto this month.
The five-year initiative is intended to bring the above groups together to ensure not only that Canada can produce the workers that it will increasingly need in the coming years, but also to remain a competitive destination for the best and brightest students both in Canada and internationally who are looking for a post-secondary education that will give them an advantage in today’s knowledge economy.
Source: Globe and Mail