HAMILTON, ON, Sept. 24, 2012 /CNW/ - 2012 has been the tipping point for
Canadian business confronting skills and labour shortages. A crisis
that had been hidden by the recession is now fully apparent. Today, the
Canadian Chamber of Commerce is releasing a report on the country-wide
skills consultations undertaken throughout the last 12 months: Canada's skills crisis: what we heard.
As part of the Top 10 Barriers to Canadian Competitiveness initiative, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and its network held its
largest-ever consultation with our membership on a single issue: the
skills crisis. We hosted roundtable discussions in 14 locations, and we
mobilized our network to lead the conversation, asking for their best
practices, and polling their opinions via eight online surveys.
"Getting a handle on the issues and suggestions which emerged from our
consultations isn't easy. One size does not fit all," said Perrin
Beatty, President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.
"However, three issues were raised wherever we met: upgrading the
skills of existing Canadian workers, improving connections between
educators and employers, and getting the right approach to immigration.
We also heard a great deal about the need to do much better in fully
realizing the potential of Aboriginal Canadians."
The extensive consultations will inform and guide the work of the
Canadian Chamber in the months and years ahead. We want to make the
largest contribution we can to help our members confront the skills
As it moves from the consultation phase to action, the Canadian Chamber
has identified four key priorities:
Upskilling - Upgrading the skills of the existing labour force and better employ
Immigration - Ensuring immigration policy is aligned with local labour markets and
Education - Improving the connections between educators and employers to balance
supply with demand for skilled trades and highly skilled occupations
Aboriginal peoples - Focusing on education and workforce development especially in the
West and the territories where the economic and social opportunities
and risks are greatest for this population.
"With our cross-country reach and the depth of our collective
experience, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and its partners are
uniquely positioned to help address these challenges," Beatty said. "We
planned an initiative that is far more hands-on than just another
study. The test of our success will not be the quality of a report, but
the tangible differences that result from this major undertaking. Meeting these challenges and improving the competitiveness
of our nation is vital for our businesses, Canadian workers and for our
nation as a whole," Beatty concluded.
Canada's skills crisis: what we heard can be found on www.chamber.ca
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 www.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)