OTTAWA, Feb. 20, 2013 /CNW/ - Today, as part of its ongoing skills
initiative, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce unveiled the findings of
its Symposium on Skills and Small Business held on November 14, 2012.
From the outset of the Canadian Chamber's skills project, it has been
clear Canada must upgrade the skills of its domestic workforce,
including the essential skills that are critical for improved training
outcomes and productivity growth. Statistics Canada estimates that 55
per cent of the differences in economic growth between OECD countries
can be explained by differences in the average skill levels between
countries. Since small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) comprise
half of the employment in the private sector, their training and
upskilling challenges require attention.
"SMEs are the backbone of communities all across Canada; however, it's
not easy for them to organize and finance training of existing
employees," said Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of the Canadian
Chamber of Commerce. "The great challenge for government, and for us at
the Canadian Chamber, is to decide how to help SMEs take on this
important task," he added.
Today's report proposes actions to encourage increased skills
development in SMEs, makes policy recommendations for all stakeholders
and highlights best practices in alleviating skills pressures. The
report reflects the contributions of symposium participants, including
SME owners and managers from seven provinces, and stakeholders from
government, academia, and the learning and training communities.
No nationwide skills strategy would be complete without addressing the
skills gap felt keenly by SMEs. The recommendations stemming from the
symposium will help focus the Canadian Chamber's advocacy on behalf of
SMEs as they tackle their key business needs. Today's report also
includes a comprehensive roadmap for SMEs and chambers of commerce to
address skills and training challenges.
The symposium project was made possible with funding support from the
government of Canada's Office of Literacy and Essential Skills.
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is the vital connection between
business and the federal government. It helps shape public policy and
decision-making to the benefit of businesses, communities and families
across Canada with a network of over 420 chambers of commerce and
boards of trade, representing 192,000 businesses of all sizes in all
sectors of the economy and in all regions. News and information are
available at Chamber.ca or follow us on Twitter @CdnChamberofCom.
SOURCE: CANADIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
For further information:
Émilie S. Potvin
Director, Public Affairs & Media Relations
Office: 613.238.4000 (231)