Access to a powerful, skilled workforce is essential to creating stronger companies and building a more competitive Canada. The question is: how do we build a more highly skilled workforce?
In its election platform, A Canada That Wins, the Canadian Chamber proposes five fixes:
- investing in more and better labour market information;
- ensuring immigration changes stop unduly limiting employers’ access to international talent;
- addressing the serious processing issues and inflexible features of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program;
- providing incentives for employers to offer more post-secondary co-op placements and internships; and
- creating a financial incentive for employers to retain employees through to the completion of their apprenticeship training.
This is the message we are sending to the federal political parties. This morning, we held a press conference in partnership with the Alberta Chambers of Commerce and the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology in Edmonton.
Today, we are also launching a new report. Fragmented Systems: Connecting Players in Canada’s Skills Challenge outlines the barriers that stand between employers and Canada’s post-secondary education systems. The report examines what is currently being done to break down these silos and identifies new solutions and recommendations to government.
The next federal government has a role to play in making sure the current and next generation of workers has the skills for Canadian business to compete and succeed internationally.
We are waiting to hear what more the parties have to say.