2014 is set to mark the beginning of the Baby Boomer exodus from the workforce, so just who will fill Canada's growing skills gap?
TORONTO, March 17, 2014 /CNW/ - With Baby Boomers already beginning to retire en masse, Canada will face immense skills shortages and a shrinking labour market that threaten the economy's long-term potential for growth and sustainability.
The Department of Finance Canada reports that the aging population is expected to lead to lower growth in output and income, while increasing the possibility of labour shortages1. Though the looming departure of the Baby Boomers from the workforce is expected to open up job opportunities and bring unemployment down to 6.0%2 (from today's 7.0%), it will also tighten Canada's labour market and put increasing pressure on employers to invest in recruitment and retention initiatives in order to sustain productivity and economic performance.
"Economic growth will be restrained as the baby boomers leave the workforce. Labour shortages brought on by a wave of retirements will be the dominant economic trend until about 2030." said Pedro Antunes, Director, National and Provincial Outlook at the Conference Board of Canada.
Baby Boomer retirement in conjunction with continuously declining birth rates support the need for strong immigration strategies as employers face skills shortages and other recruitment difficulties now and over the next 15-20 years. The federal government, as well as provincial governments, have recognized this need and have initiated legislation and programming to begin attracting talent from around the world.
"We need to ensure that Ontario businesses have the skilled workers they need to stay competitive in today's global economy," said Michael Coteau, Ontario's Minister of Citizenship and Immigration when announcing the proposed Ontario Immigration Act on February 19, 2014. "As critical as immigration has been to our past, and our present, it will be even more vital to our future," he said.
Effective immigrant integration into Canada's workforce will prove to be critical for Canada to maintain its social programs, while strengthening a globally competitive economy. However, newcomers to Canada face greater socio-economic barriers in times of economic uncertainty and endure greater levels of unemployment compared to Canadian-born, working age citizens.
The employment gap between immigrants and Canadian-born workers is also widest among the university-educated, with approximately 90% of Canadians with degrees being employed, compared to 77%3 of immigrants with degrees. These numbers, though, do not specify what types of jobs are being held. Despite high levels of specialized experience in numerous in-demand fields, newcomers often take survival jobs to make ends meet. To fully leverage the talent of newcomers, it will be vital to effectively match them with roles that reflect their education, professional background, and abilities.
"Employers need to be prepared to make a significant investment in the recruitment and integration of immigrants," says Naguib Gouda, President at Career Edge. "In our experience, internationally qualified professionals bring high levels of skills and experience. Leveraging their qualifications will feed economic growth now, and for years to come."
About Career Edge
A self-sustaining social enterprise, Career Edge has remained passionate about connecting highly motivated, well-qualified interns with leading organizations since 1996.
Whether an organization is in pursuit of talent to meet or exceed its evolving business needs, or a recent graduate, graduate with a disability or internationally qualified professional is seeking meaningful work experience consistent with their education and skills, Career Edge's paid internships will give them the edge they need to succeed.
Career Edge works. Half of the interns are hired by their host employer at the end of their internship and most of the rest successfully launch their career elsewhere within six months.
Career Edge makes the business of finding great talent cost-efficient and virtually risk free, while giving the edge to those striving to launch their careers.
SOURCE: Career Edge
For further information:
Manager, Marketing & Communications
Career Edge Organization
Tel: (416) 977-3343 ext. 286
Fax: (416) 977-4090
For more information about Career Edge, please visit www.careeredge.ca