National action required - Immigrants, aboriginals and older workers key to skills solution, new study says

    VANCOUVER, Aug. 19 /CNW/ - Canada needs to do a much better job of
helping immigrants integrate into the workforce and developing capacity in
apprenticeship programs, according to a report released today publishing the
results of an exhaustive cross-Canada consultation and engagement exercise
organized by the Public Policy Forum and sponsored by the Certified General
Accountants Association of Canada (CGA-Canada).
    The report reflects material gathered from eight regional roundtable
meetings that pulled together a cross-section of participants from government,
business, labour, post-secondary education, aboriginal and immigrant
communities, and youth, and culminated in a national summit in Ottawa. The
project was produced to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the CGA
designation in Canada.
    Twelve recommendations are set out in Getting on the Same Page: Report on
the CGA-Canada Summit on Skills and Learning Organized by the Public Policy
Forum, which examines the country's most pressing skills and learning

    According to the report, Canada should:

    -   Review and address access to child care programs, particularly those
        that allow aboriginal and immigrant women to acquire skills training
        and jobs;
    -   Directly confront the issue of latent racism and cultural obstacles
        in the education system and workforce;
    -   Consider a national credit transfer system to address the issue of
        academic mobility and to encourage lifelong learning among a highly
        mobile population;
    -   Create incentives and adapt pension-eligibility rules to encourage
        retirement-aged workers to stay in the workforce longer, even if only
        on a part-time basis;
    -   Provide enhanced incentives to employers who offer jobs to skilled
        immigrants, recognizing the additional costs of training;
    -   Create a national workforce database for educational institutions, as
        well as public and private sector employers.

    The report is being sent to policy and decision makers at the provincial
and federal level to seek their views and assess progress on these
    "Canada's skills shortage is a direct result of widespread fragmentation
of both programs and information," said Anthony Ariganello, President and CEO
of CGA-Canada. "Changing workplace demographics and the current economic
environment have put increased demands on the supply of skilled workers.
Clearly, Canada must work towards refining the delivery mechanisms for
bridging and training programs as well as improved labour mobility and better
information networks."
    See the full report at

    About CGA-Canada

    CGA is the fastest-growing accounting designation in Canada. The CGA
designation focuses on integrity, ethics and the highest education
requirements. Recognized as the country's accounting business leaders, CGAs
provide strategic counsel, financial leadership, and overall direction to all
sectors of the Canadian economy.
    The Association sets standards, develops education programs, publishes
professional materials, advocates on public policy issues, and represents CGAs
nationally and internationally. The Certified General Accountants Association
of Canada represents 68,000 CGAs and students in Canada, Bermuda, the
Caribbean, Hong Kong and China.

For further information:

For further information: Taylore Ashlie, Director, Communications,
CGA-Canada, Telephone: (604) 605-5055, Cell: (604) 307-0212, Email:

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