New report from HRPA and Deloitte shows that the prosperity Canada enjoys today is under threat
TORONTO, April 3, 2012 /CNW/ - What will Canada's economy and society look like in 2025? Will we stand out or will we fall behind? Those are the questions addressed in a joint study by the Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA) and Deloitte's Human capital consulting practice. The report examines the key economic, social, technological, environmental and demographic trends shaping the Canadian workplace and develops three possible scenarios of what the Canadian economy and society could look like in 2025. The year 2025 could bring The Lost Decade, Unsustainable Prosperity or The Northern Tiger.
"Of the three scenarios, the most desirable - and the only one that is truly sustainable - is The Northern Tiger, says Bill Greenhalgh, CEO, Human Resources Professionals Association. "As The Northern Tiger, Canada enjoys a strong and robust economy where workplace flexibility is the norm and training and education providers are in synch with the needs of business.
"To be a tiger implies a ferocity of spirit Canada is sometimes accused of lacking," continues Greenhalgh. "It will take tremendous will and focus from employers and policy makers to align all of the elements required to ensure a truly modern and engaged workforce in 2025."
Lost Decade, Unsustainable Prosperity or Northern Tiger?
The three scenarios focus on the decisions that Canada is making today and show how these choices can hinder or propel Canada in the year 2025. Each scenario delivers a landscape that comes with a vastly different labour market profile, measure of productivity, employment contract and organization of work.
While the first and second scenarios represent darker alternatives, they are the most realistic if we fail to challenge the status quo. These 'default futures' do not assume complete inaction, but a lack of innovation and a lack of collaborative leadership that is required to bring about meaningful change.
The Lost Decade
A bleak view of Canada's future, where we fail to make strategic decisions about education, immigration and employment. Prolonged economic recovery results in people without jobs and jobs without skilled people. As the Canadian brand loses its luster, immigration flows slow and Canadians seek new opportunities abroad. Aggressive outsourcing hollows out Canadian businesses.
A somewhat brighter future, but one that comes with a significant risk of us putting all of our eggs in one basket. Canada's resources are in global demand, leading to reasonable prosperity—but tradable sectors don't grow. The education system fails to evolve to meet new labour market conditions, producing "smart people" with unsellable skills. Immigration challenges, such as credential recognition, remain unsolved.
The Northern Tiger
If Canadian leaders set the country on a new course and we rebel against the status quo by making major but attainable changes, The Northern Tiger is within reach. In this scenario Canada seizes global uncertainty as an opportunity for profound bold change. New globally competitive sectors, like green technology and ICT, are spawned by the strength of an integrated, technology-savvy, diverse and highly-engaged workforce.
"The best way to predict the future is to invent it," says Jeff Moir, Deloitte GTA Human capital consulting leader. "If we are to become The Northern Tiger, we need to take action now - 2025 is only a couple of election cycles away and will be here sooner than we think. Government and business must work in tandem to identify the common strategies that we need, regardless of what the future holds, as well as strategies to hedge against undesirable outcomes."
"To reach the 'invented future' which is sustainable and successful we must experiment with new ways of working, learning quickly from each other and rapidly adopting good ideas," said Moir.
- Modernize education - prepare future talent with the tools, technology and skills from K-12 to Post-Secondary, and consider changes to improve teaching performance.
- Reform immigration - correct long-standing challenges with immigrant accreditation and integration to fully leverage the skills and potential of new Canadians.
- Improve employment flexibility - address looming skill gaps and shortages by fully tapping into the potential of all Canadians (through flexible and customized work arrangements and regulations).
- Invest in industry excellence - create the conditions for Canadian companies to win in strategic sectors (through incentives, investment and infrastructure).
- Infrastructure for access to talent - invest in infrastructure to enable labour mobility, access to diverse talent pools, and improved take-up of distributed work.
The Challenge: Grow Brand Canada
"Canada's success will depend on the creation of a diverse and sustainable economy built on human capital - an effective workforce that has the right people, with the right skills, in the right jobs," says Greenhalgh.
"The strategies discussed in CanadaWorks2025 encourage a healthy relationship between employer and employee, and help develop a workforce to promote the advantages of Brand Canada. Employment is shifting now and both public and private dialogue and collaboration are necessary to build our future," concluded Greenhalgh.
Join the CanadaWorks 2025 discussion on Twitter by following @HRPA or @DeloitteCanada using the hashtag #CanadaWorks. You can also take part in the discussion on the CanadaWorks 2025 LinkedIn group or on the HRPA blog - HR Conversations. To view a video depiction of the report or the strategies for future success and to download the full report, please visit www.HRPA.ca/CanadaWorks2025 or Deloitte.com/ca/CanadaWorks2025.
About the Research
Deloitte and HRPA interviewed 52 senior leaders from the business, academic and government sectors between September and December 2011. A full list of the participants can be found in the appendix of the CanadaWorks 2025 report.
The final report and the future scenarios it presents, are based on the detailed research interviews and extensive secondary research combined with Deloitte's scenario planning methodologies.
About the Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA)
The Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA) is Canada's HR thought leader with more than 19,000 members in 28 chapters across Ontario. It connects its membership to an unmatched range of HR information resources, events, professional development and networking opportunities and annually hosts the world's second largest HR conference. In Ontario, HRPA issues the Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP) designation, the national standard for excellence in human resources management and the Senior Human Resources Professional (SHRP) designation, reserved for high-impact HR leaders. www.hrpa.ca
Deloitte, one of Canada's leading professional services firms, provides audit, tax, consulting, and financial advisory services through more than 8,000 people in 56 offices. Deloitte operates in Québec as Samson Bélair/Deloitte & Touche s.e.n.c.r.l. Deloitte & Touche LLP, an Ontario Limited Liability Partnership, is the Canadian member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited.
Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, a UK private company limited by guarantee, and its network of member firms, each of which is a legally separate and independent entity. Please see www.deloitte.com/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited and its member firms.
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