Governments should help bridge job skills gap to address lack of wage growth: Canadian CEO – National

Governments should help bridge job skills gap to address lack of wage growth: Canadian CEO – National

in Feb 03, 2019


Canada may be experiencing one of its biggest labour shortages in years but that doesn’t mean employees are seeing wage growth reflecting that talent crunch.

Last week, a senior official with the Bank of Canada said one of the causes for the “puzzling” lack of wage growth could be that employers are struggling to find candidates with the right skills. But one Canadian company thinks it might have the answers.

READ MORE: 2014 oil price crash to blame for Canada’s slow wage growth, Bank of Canada official says

In an interview with The West Block, Sean Hinton, founder and CEO of SkyHive, said government needs to do a better job of helping bridge that divide and help companies look not only at what employees are doing now but what their skill set means they could be doing in the future.

“We have a situation where there is drastic need for jobs yet there’s not a way to find an easy pathway to those jobs,” Hinton said.

“I think what’s happening is there’s a misalignment between the advancement of the global marketplace, the advancement of technology. One of the issues is with this Industrial Revolution happening right now, the speed of changes happening is very difficult to understand.”

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Hinton, who is in Ottawa for meetings with government officials, said while there have been efforts by governments to try to address challenges like certain jobs becoming obsolete or less secure than they have been traditionally, looking for ways to use and expand on the skills those employees already have is key.

His meeting comes as the government grapples with the looming loss of 2,500 jobs by December 2019, when General Motors is set to close its Oshawa plant.

READ MORE: Liberals eyeing job training boost after warnings of under spending

“What we do is help them understand the skills they’ve developed through their time and help them find new jobs,” he said.

“There would be attention to detail, there would be supply chain management, there would be procurement. All of these skills apply to multiple jobs in multiple occupations. Then it’s a matter of finding the right fit.”

READ MORE: Here’s why you still can’t get a job — or a raise — despite record-low unemployment

The Liberals have mused about using the upcoming federal budget to boost job skills spending.

“Retraining and training will be increasingly important,” said Social Development Minister Jean-Yves Duclos in an interview last year with the Canadian Press.

“We need to work with partners — provinces and territories — but given that the challenges faced by provinces and territories are in many cases common to all of these provinces and territories, there is a federal role that needs to be addressed.”

Expected in the next month or two, that budget will be the last before the election later this fall.

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