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Upskilling the Workforce report cover

Skills mismatches continue to challenge employers across the Canadian economy. When it comes to closing the skills gap, a comprehensive response involves government, the educational system and employers, at a minimum. Today, we issued a report, Upskilling the Workforce: Employer-sponsored Training and Resolving the Skills Gap, that focuses on the role of employers in training existing talent.

Employers are often criticized for not investing enough in the training and skills development of their employees. Educational institutions are expected to do a better job at preparing individuals to enter the workforce, with more of the skills employers are seeking. We believe employers may sponsor more formal training of their employees either as a result of their own proactive workforce plans or as a result of a financial incentive to be made available.

As Canada’s largest business association, we want policy-makers and other stakeholders to understand how employers are responding to the skills shortages and mismatches. While this is a technical report, rather than a general interest report, we know many chambers of commerce and their members are concerned about training in their communities and by business.

Whether by collaborating with post-secondary institutions or responding to policy incentives, employers can and will do more as human capital enablers. It is a business imperative.

Our report captures the views of human resource executives, employers and educators. Various topics are covered including customizing education for employers; the issue of the apprenticeships; planning for reskilling and redeployment; job-readiness training for youth; and the perennial demand for soft skills.

Consider this report as a step toward understanding and leveraging the role of business to work with individuals, educators and governments to achieve better skills and better outcomes in Canada’s economy.

For more information, please contact Sarah Anson-Cartwright, Director, Skills Policy, at

Access the report

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