Partnerships are driving progress in building labour force capacity in Canada's North

OTTAWA, Nov. 21, 2011 /CNW/ - Joint initiatives among communities and businesses are helping to close the gap between the tremendous need for skilled workers in Canada's North and the shortage of people with sufficient education and employment skills, according to a new report from The Conference Board of Canada's Centre for the North.

"Many Northern communities are faced with a paradox. Businesses are investing and creating new jobs, but the local population is not always able to take full advantage of these opportunities," said Anja Jeffrey, Director, Centre for the North. "What we are seeing, though, are innovative approaches emerging, with industry, organizations and communities partnering to improve educational outcomes and increase employment skills. And our findings show that these initiatives are having a real impact in improving labour force capacity in Canada's North."

Organizations, businesses and communities that participated in the study identified three main areas for additional action:

  • Education - Current graduation rates and education levels are not meeting the needs of organizations and businesses. Poor infrastructure and remote locations mean that the costs of offering courses and providing training needed for employment or post-secondary education opportunities can be quite expensive for small local governments.
  • Employability skills - Employability skills are obtained through a combination of experience, practice, and seeing these behaviours demonstrated by role models. With high unemployment rates in much of the North, many individuals have not had the chance to obtain needed employability skills.
  • Job-specific skills - There is a lack of job-specific skills, specifically those required for managerial, professional, and trades-based roles. Despite the urgency to fill these positions, gaining the skills necessary for these roles can include several years of education, on-the-job training, classroom instruction, and examinations. Starting an apprenticeship, for example, can be an especially difficult undertaking in the North where there is an identified shortage of skilled trades people able to train apprentices.

The report, Building Labour Force Capacity in Canada's North, shows how communities and businesses are finding a wide range of effective ways to work together to address these challenges. These include online virtual high schools, vocational training programs, and job skills enhancement opportunities. Businesses are also providing career development help in the form of paid on-the-job training, bursaries and scholarships, and help with adjusting to the culture shock of being away from home.

This report is produced by the Conference Board of Canada's Centre for the North. The Centre for the North works with Aboriginal leaders, businesses, governments, communities, educational institutions, and other organizations to provide new insights into how sustainable prosperity can be achieved in the North. The Centre will help to establish and implement strategies, policies and practices to transform that vision into reality.


For further information:

Yvonne Squires, Media Relations, Tel.: 613- 526-3090 ext.  221

Profil de l'entreprise


Renseignements sur cet organisme


Jetez un coup d’œil sur nos forfaits personnalisés ou créez le vôtre selon vos besoins de communication particuliers.

Commencez dès aujourd'hui .


Remplissez un formulaire d'adhésion à CNW ou communiquez avec nous au 1-877-269-7890.


Demandez plus d'informations sur les produits et services de CNW ou communiquez avec nous au 1‑877-269-7890.