Thursday, November 28, 2013

Ottawa and industry need to address the skills gap

TORONTO – Skills shortages have not yet grown into a national issue, but do have the potential to impact the economy if Ottawa and industry don’t start working together, says former federal cabinet minister John Manley.

“We haven’t accepted some of the shrill statements that there is a skill crisis in Canada,” Manley, head of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, said in a speech Thursday.

“Yes we could use plumbers, pipefitters and electricians in the oilsands… but this is not a national shortage.”

Manley cited a recent survey by the council on the needs of 100 of the country’s largest companies. It found that 57 per cent felt the skills shortage was a “moderate” problem, while 11 per cent called it a “big” problem.

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Asia Pacific Gateway Skills Table wishes to acknowledge the funding support from the Sector Council Program, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada and the Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative led by Transport Canada.