(Toronto, ON - September 17, 2012) - Some of the fastest growing jobs in the coming decade have yet to be identified. In fact, the term “new job” itself is changing: it can refer to a job that did not previously exist, or a job that carries the same name but requires such different skills as to render it changed. In either case, the need for skilled employees to fill these positions is increasing.
"Competition for skilled workers is heating up,” says Margaret Eaton, President of ABC Life Literacy Canada. “We need to adopt the same philosophy as successful companies. They attract quality employees with good benefit plans, profit-‐sharing, stock options, etc. Every province, and the country as a whole, should be working to create an environment that will attract foreign workers.”
The most recent KPMG C-Suite Survey of Canadian companies found that two‐thirds of executives report difficulty finding qualified employees. One‐third say the labour shortage is already preventing their company from growing more quickly, and 89% of executives surveyed said increased spending in skills training and apprenticeships should be a high or modest budget priority for the government. Some even want the federal government to help pay for skilled immigrants to obtain Canadian qualifications to curtail the shortage.
“Businesses should be engaged in promoting skills development,” says Craig Alexander, Senior Vice President, Chief Economist at TD Bank Financial Group, and ABC Life Literacy Canada board member. “This could be done, for example, by helping to fund skills training for employees. Managers can play a key role in encouraging individuals to pursue skills training. Businesses should champion literacy as a key economic policy priority,” he emphasizes. “It is good for Canadians and it is good for the bottom lines of firms.”
Although some firms, particularly smaller businesses, feel this is simply too much to ask, studies have shown that cost is not the main barrier to employee skills development. In many cases, the individuals needing additional training have difficulty balancing work/life responsibilities. Encouraging workers to take advantage of essential skills programs, while providing increased workplace flexibility to accommodate training, is key.
Essential Skills Day takes place annually in September to raise awareness of the nine essential skills and the importance of training in the workplace. Show your commitment to skills training and get involved: host an event, coordinate a skills competition or learn more about workplace education. Visit www.EssentialSkillsDay.ca for helpful resources, tools and case studies of successful workplace education programs.
Read about other benefits here.
Minister Finley declares Essential Skills Day 2012: