TORONTO, Nov. 27, 2013 /CNW/ - Ontario's Workforce Shortage Coalition,
which represents employers, educators, students, unions and others, is
calling for a meeting with Premier Kathleen Wynne to discuss solutions
to some of the issues involving unpaid internships.
"Minimum standards must be in place to ensure that young people are
benefiting from the internship experience," said Linda Franklin, the
president and CEO of Colleges Ontario. "The government must work with
stakeholders to address this issue."
The workforce shortage coalition is calling for the Ministry of Labour
to develop a plan to better inform students and employers about
interns' rights and responsibilities. Representatives from the
coalition are looking to meet with Premier Wynne to discuss the
proposal in more detail, along with other issues related to the
training of the workforce.
Ontario's Workforce Shortage Coalition represents more than 100,000
employers in Ontario and millions of employees. The coalition, which
has more than 20 member organizations, was formed in 2007 to examine
ideas to create a more highly skilled and qualified workforce in the
The recommendation on unpaid interns is included in a new report,
Employment-focused Education for a World-leading Economy, which the
coalition has submitted to the premier and government.
The report is based on proposals from a June symposium that examined the
skills mismatch in Ontario - the gap between the skills held by many
people seeking work and the qualifications sought by employers. A
report by the Conference Board of Canada estimates the skills mismatch
costs Ontario as much as $24.3 billion a year in lost economic
According to Allan O'Dette, the president and CEO of the Ontario Chamber
of Commerce, "producing a strong workforce will require a coordinated
effort among businesses, educators and government."
The coalition's recommendations to government include:
That the government ensures all high school students in Ontario have
opportunities to take part in applied programs as part of their
That the federal and Ontario governments work together on the Canada Job
Grant to ensure the province's most vulnerable citizens get the
training they need to fill good jobs and that existing initiatives that
are meeting critical training needs identified by the province are not
That Ontario's system for transferring completed post-secondary credits
be improved so that more students can pursue a combination of both
university and college education.
That the province set targets and implement measures to produce greater
numbers of apprentices.
"We need to promote the full range of career opportunities available to
young people in the new economy," said Ian Howcroft, the
vice-president, Ontario division, of Canadian Manufacturers &
Exporters. "At the same time, we must ensure people entering the
workforce have the advanced skills and qualifications they need to
successfully fill available positions."
Ontario's Workforce Shortage Coalition includes the Alliance of Ontario
Food Processors, the Automotive Parts Manufacturers' Association,
Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters, the Canadian Restaurant and
Foodservices Association, the Certified General Accountants of Ontario,
the College Student Alliance, Colleges Ontario, the Council of Ontario
Construction Associations, the Electricity Distributors Association,
the Greater Toronto Hotel Association, the Ontario Aerospace Council,
the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, the Ontario Environment Industry
Association, the Ontario General Contractors Association, the Ontario
Marine Operators Association, the Ontario Mining Association, the
Ontario Restaurant Hotel & Motel Association, the Ontario Tourism
Council, the Power Workers' Union, the Retail Council of Canada, Skills
Canada-Ontario, the Ontario Association of Certified Engineering
Technicians and Technologists, the Toronto Financial Services Alliance,
and Trees Ontario.
The coalition's submission to government can be found on the Ontario's
Workforce Shortage Coalition website at www.workforcecoalition.ca.
SOURCE: Colleges Ontario
For further information:
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