Given the alleged pervasiveness of the skills shortage and the impact it has had on local economies within Canada, one might think it wise for Ottawa and the provincial capitals to find common ground on a matter that affects them with equal adversity. Yet, the idea of establishing a national education and/or training strategy — one guided and informed by Ottawa but executed by the provinces — to combat the skills gap and unemployment seems to be .
Their training would all go to waste locally if [those] people move to another jurisdiction
Why is such a strategy necessary?
Current funding models make it impossible for provincial governments to see past their own interests. “Imagine you have some sensible province that knows what it needs and trains people according to that,” says Arthur Sweetman, economics professor at McMaster University. “Their training would all go to waste locally if [those] people move to another jurisdiction.”
Therein lies the rub. The focus is on how the province benefits, not the nation. Yet, with economic competitiveness becoming increasingly international in nature, Canada must compete at a national level — not a regional one.
National strategies have been pursued in industrialized nations with mixed results. These nations have long correlated secondary and post-secondary school curriculum to market demand, funneling students into educational streams that are congruent with their aptitudes but also aligned with immediate or projected labour needs.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor
Canada Job Grant / Deeply flawed say Mowat Centre for Policy Innovation and the Caledon Institute for Social Policy
Ottawa’s proposed Canada Job Grant is deeply flawed and should be abandoned, a joint report to be released Monday by two policy think tanks says. Despite the upbeat TV ads Ottawa is running in support of its new $15,000 a person training program, it’s far from clear the program will deliver the promised results or … Continue reading »
Tell us what you think about the Ottawa’s proposed Canada Job Grant. Use the DISCUSSION section at the bottom of this page and enter your comment at the end of this post. As Lina Dib wrote in La Presse, “Ottawa is trying to sell a product that Quebecers do not yet exist and that will probably … Continue reading »
Canada / Is the widespread assumption that Canada is suffering from a growing shortage of labour true?
“When the Royal Bank of Canada was recently caught up in a maelstrom of bad publicity over its use of temporary foreign workers, it led politicians and pundits to scrutinize and question the growing use by Canadian firms of imported, short-term labour” Kevin McQuillan in ALL THE WORKERS WE NEED: DEBUNKING CANADA’S LABOUR- SHORTAGE FALLACY (Adapted …Continue reading »
When the premiers of the four Atlantic provinces met on April 29, their joint communiqué noted “significant concerns with the recent unilateral decisions of the federal government regarding skills, training and employment supports.” The four provinces expressed concerns about the Canada Job Grant, “particularly the ability of small-and medium-sized businesses to participate in the program.” … Continue reading »
Fixing labour shortages and enhancing the skills of workers will be the centrepieces of next week’s federal budget. But the government also recognizes that serious progress on matching skills with job openings will require close co-operation with provincial governments and the private sector. Businesses say labour shortages are also a top concern, and they want … Continue reading »
Speaking at the Canada 2020 Conference on Skilled Trades in the Energy Sector in Ottawa Feb. 28, Diane Finley, minister of human resources and skills development, noted labour shortages and skills mismatches have become a “dominant policy concern.” A number options are under consideration, including: • Helping Canadians make more informed career choices, including at …Continue reading »
Canada and the Provinces / New voucher plan for training being weighed by Flaherty to replace agreements
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty this morning met with Canada’s largest trades union, the AFL-CIO, to discuss transferring nearly $2 billion of funding for labour training from the provinces to a voucher system for individuals ahead of the 2013 budget. The transfer was part of a broader discussion between Flaherty and Robert Blakely, the chief operating … Continue reading »