A closer look at the single biggest long-term threat to Canadian economic growth

The Jobs Report: What to do about a massive shortage of qualified workers

Why Canada doesn’t work

Fernando Morales/The Globe and Mail/CP

On a recent February evening, Karl Eve received an emergency call from a restaurant owner in Canmore, Alta. The busy eatery had suddenly found itself with no hot water, even though the basement hot water tanks appeared to be working fine. A plumber with 10 years’ experience, Eve eventually traced the problem to a malfunctioning dishwasher and got the hot water flowing again—much to the owner’s relief.

It’s the sort of detective work Eve says he loves about his job. He also likes that his plumbing business, which he runs with his wife in nearby Exshaw, provides his family with a comfortable middle-class lifestyle. But it was a career he very nearly missed. Never a fan of textbooks, Eve ended up toiling in a southern Ontario gypsum mine after high school. It was only after moving to Alberta years later that he considered a career in the trades. A chance meeting at a church potluck led to a ride-along with a local plumber and, ultimately, an apprenticeship. “I discovered there was a lot to learn, especially when it came to math,” Eve says of his four years of training, which included eight weeks a year in a classroom. “The amount of education was very surprising to me, but in a positive way. I grasped it with both hands, so to speak.”

Eve’s story is more rare than it should be in Canada. Many consider the trades to be low-paying, go-nowhere jobs, if they consider them at all. But it’s a perception not grounded in reality, as Eve’s healthy hourly rate of $90 to $135 suggests. Nor is it one Canada can afford to maintain. Numerous studies warn Canada is facing a massive shortage of skilled workers over the next few decades as millions of baby boomers hit retirement age and exit the workforce.

At the same time, the nature of work itself is changing as the country transitions to a so-called knowledge economy that relies on a well-trained and highly educated workforce to produce value-added products and services. Those without the necessary skills could soon find themselves unemployable. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce estimates there will be 550,000 unskilled workers who won’t be able to find work by 2016. By 2021, it says, the number could be well over a million. At the same time, it’s estimated there will be 1.5 million skilled job vacancies in 2016, and 2.6 million by 2021.

Economists call it a skills “mismatch.” The country is in dire need of engineers, health workers and skilled tradespeople. Yet tens of thousands of students continue to pursue degrees in the arts and humanities. The result is an unemployment rate that refuses to fall below seven per cent (about 13.5 per cent among youth), while employers increasingly complain about vacant jobs that promise good wages—particularly in Western Canada, where the oil, gas and mining industries are booming. “The new phenomenon here is that we’re going to be seeing pockets of persistent high unemployment existing right alongside serious worker shortages in particular industries,” says Perrin Beatty, a former member of Parliament and the chamber’s CEO.

Hence, Canada not only needs to encourage more people to enter the workforce, but to ensure everyone will be productive once they get there. That’s a tall order in a country where, incredibly, nearly half of all adults don’t have the necessary literacy and numeracy skills to participate in a modern economy. As a result, experts say a dramatic rethink of how our post-secondary system works is in order. Though Canada’s universities are among the best in the world, critics argue for a much greater focus on colleges and polytechnic universities, since the latter are better plugged into the business community. Others say the country needs to do a better job of informing young people about the breadth of high-paying career opportunities in a modern economy.

The trend toward “people without jobs, jobs without people” poses the single biggest long-term threat to Canadian economic growth, exacerbating Canada’s already lagging productivity and innovation, according to one recent report. But attempts to head off calamity are so far being met with the usual obstacles. Companies complain about the additional cost of training employees; unions are wary about foreign workers taking local jobs; and parents continue to try and steer their children into a few prestigious professions. Something has to give. “We have a skills problem well on its way to becoming a crisis,” Beatty says. “And you need only look at the demographic wedge that we’re confronting to see that the problem is only going to get worse.”

A recent report by the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce suggested as much as one-fifth of Canada’s labour market already suffers from too few qualified workers, particularly in the health care, mining, business services and advanced manufacturing sectors. The average unemployment rate for those jobs is just one per cent, while workers in those positions are seeing wage gains of nearly four per cent annually, more than double that of the broader economy—a telltale sign of a labour shortage.

At the same time, the CIBC report noted a surplus of employees in occupations such as food services, clerical work, sales and recreational guiding—a group that collectively accounts for about 16 per cent of the workforce. Another study, released last week by the C.D. Howe Institute, noted that the mismatch is especially problematic in the Western provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and British Columbia.

Evidence of the shortage is already popping up in day-to-day life. In Alberta, the booming oil sands have sucked workers away from dozens of other occupations, some of which—like policing—were already experiencing shortages. As a result, Calgarians who get pulled over by the police are just as likely to be questioned in a British or Scottish accent following a U.K recruitment drive several years ago. Other provinces, meanwhile, are preying on foreign countries that are still recovering from the 2009 global crisis. Saskatchewan is targeting Ireland, which required a bailout from the European Union and International Monetary Fund, for a fresh supply of heavy duty mechanics, welders, engineers and machinists.

But such cross-border shopping for talent threatens to become a problem in its own right. A survey of 38,000 companies in 41 countries last year by Milwaukee’s ManpowerGroup found that one-third were unable to find enough workers with the right skills, suggesting a global shortage is emerging. One country’s gain can quickly become another’s loss. “Highly skilled people are extremely mobile,” explains Beatty, adding that it creates disincentives for employers and government to pour money into training programs, lest all those newly skilled workers get poached.

The flip side of Canada’s skills mismatch—all those bartenders and baristas with expensive university degrees—is also troubling. Not only are underemployed Canadians contributing below their full potential, they’re creating a domino effect by taking jobs away from those without skills who can’t find work. The economic impact is potentially huge. At a time when the Bank of Canada is trying to juice business activity with continued record-low interest rates, CIBC chief economist Avery Shenfeld argues that Canada’s “labour market mismatch is big enough not only to reduce the effectiveness of monetary policy, but also to limit the growth potential of the labour market and the economy as a whole.”

In a recent speech, Diane Finley, the minister of human resources and skills development, compared the situation to a man listening for an oncoming train by putting his ear to the tracks. “Well, folks, it’s time to stop listening for the train, because it’s bearing down on us,” she said, citing a PricewaterhouseCoopers survey that found two-thirds of CEOs ranked the lack of key skills as the biggest threat to their growth prospects. “Canada’s economy is changing, the workplace is changing and we all have to change with it.”

Nor is the problem simply constrained economic growth. Although there’s some debate about when the full force of the baby-boomer retirement wave will hit—many Canadians are working past the age of 65 and the lingering effects of the 2009 recession have caused many businesses to hold off on hiring—some experts are forecasting a profound shift in the way the entire economy works. As Canadians get older, on average, they’re expected to spend less money while putting a greater strain on health care, pensions and old-age security. Those services, in turn, will be supported by a declining number of working-age Canadians. “We’re going to be in a hell of a problem unless we find ways to increase the size of the workforce and encourage higher participation rates,” says Rick Miner, the president of Toronto consulting firm Miner & Miner, which published a report on Canada’s labour challenges last year. “We’re not going to have the resources to provide ourselves with the services we’ve come to think of as normal, whether it’s health care or anything else.”

Ottawa is taking the threat seriously, and one of the biggest weapons in its arsenal is the country’s immigration system. The federal government has already announced changes, to take effect this spring, that would place a greater emphasis on younger workers and speed up the process employers must go through to hire new Canadians in occupations where there are immediate labour shortages.

But immigration alone won’t be a panacea. Many new immigrants tend to settle in big cities like Toronto and Vancouver, where there are big ethnic communities and established social networks. By contrast, many of the most acute labour shortages are in the country’s hinterlands, where oil and mining companies’ operations are based. There are also problems with the recognition of foreign credentials and language skills, which has traditionally led to a much lower workforce participation rate for first-generation immigrants. Whereas roughly 82 per cent of Canadians between the age of 25 to 54 have historically participated in the labour force, the corresponding number for recent immigrants is just 63 per cent, according to Statistics Canada. It remains to be seen whether policy changes that target workers with high-demand skills will be able to dramatically narrow this gap.

Individual industries face their own problems with foreign workers. Beatty, for example, notes that the trucking industry is suffering a critical shortage of drivers, which could have an outsized impact on the economy, given the importance of truck transport to North American supply chains. “Increasingly, we’re having to look at new immigrants to fill those jobs,” he says. “But that poses a problem because security requirements at the border limit the countries drivers can come from if they want admission to the United States.” There’s also the risk of a backlash if foreign workers are perceived to be favoured for jobs that might otherwise go to Canadians. In B.C., a mining company recently found itself the target of a union lawsuit after it hired about 200 foreign temporary workers from China. They’ve since been sent home.

Finding more workers is only one side of the equation. “We also need to look at the educational side,” says Miner. “That’s where the real payoff is.” Despite Canada’s solid public schools and high-quality post-secondary institutions, 48 per cent of adults lack sufficient literacy skills “to function well at work and in daily living,” according to Human Resources and Skills Development Canada. While Canada actually scores relatively high—about fifth out of 20 developed countries— on basic reading, or “prose” literacy, it falls to the middle of the pack on “document” or “quantitive” literacy skills, which involve things like reading charts and graphs or balancing a chequebook. All of which suggests that many Canadians are increasingly ineligible for the occupations of today, let alone the jobs of tomorrow.

High-tech skills are becoming a prerequisite for many jobs. “Everything we do is heavily laden with technology—even down to drywall installation,” says James Knight, the president of the Association of Canadian Community Colleges. “I don’t know if you’ve watched this recently, but it’s all done with lasers bouncing around the room.” He estimates nearly 75 per cent of jobs now being created in Ontario require a post-secondary education, but that only about 58 per cent of the population has one. “The people we need require a much more sophisticated level of education,” he says. “And we’re simply not there yet.”

Click on the chart to enlarge (Created by Amanda Shendruk)

Also key is making sure Canadians receive the right training. Miner, for one, argues that government efforts to encourage innovation by pumping billions into university research over the past 30 years may have actually exacerbated the country’s labour woes. While all that money has resulted in exciting discoveries and publications in elite journals, it hasn’t necessarily done a great job in preparing graduates for the workforce. “You have parents that desperately want to make the right decision for their kids. And you can’t fault them if they want their kids to go to university,” Miner says. “But what parents don’t realize is that you can get a great career through college, and better earning potential. But the status just isn’t there.” Universities, on the other hand, cite stats that show graduates have filled 1.3 million of the 1.5 million new professional and management positions created over the past two decades.

Knight says it’s ultimately a question of finding the right balance. He argues that colleges are particularly well-suited to bridging the divide between academics and training because they already work closely with industry to develop their programs. He cites a four-year degree at B.C.’s Selkirk College that focuses on geographic information systems, including GPS applications used heavily by the forestry and mining industries. “Where in a university calendar would you find anything about GPS?” he says. “At a time when the principal constraint on economic growth in this country is a shortage of human capital, we really have to think about what we’re emphasizing and where we put our resources.” He adds that the post-secondary system would benefit immensely if students could move more seamlessly between colleges and universities, noting that as many as 20 per cent of college applicants already have a university degree. “Obviously, it’s not efficient to spend six years in post-secondary education when considerably less might have done the job,” he says.

Another limitation of the current system, according to a recent study by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, is that Canadian university research, though top-notch, has a poor track record of finding its way into the commercial sphere. In contrast, colleges are developing a niche for themselves by having faculty and students work closely with smaller companies to develop new products and services—applied research that can be immediately implemented in the marketplace. Nobina Robinson, the CEO of Polytechnics Canada, which represents 11 colleges and institutes of technology, says the trend not only promises to boost Canada’s innovation across a variety of sectors, but will equip future employees with skills that employers need to be successful. “The knowledge economy is always saying we need more M.B.A.s and Ph.D.s,” Robinson says. “But to come up with big discoveries and innovative breakthroughs, you actually need people who can make, design and build things, too.”

Among the recommendations Polytechnics Canada has put forward to Ottawa: more government support for applied research and commercialization programs; more focus on apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs; and a requirement that bidders on government contracts create apprenticeship positions as a condition of their bids. Fewer than half of Canadians who register as apprentices every year actually go on to become certified. The reasons are many and vary across provinces and industries, but Robinson cites a general unwillingness among many employers to take on apprentices—possibly because they fear rivals will steal their newly trained workers. A study last year by the Conference Board of Canada showed that investment in employee training among Canadian companies has fallen nearly 40 per cent since 1993. “We need to reward employers through the tax code who invest in training,” Robinson says. She adds that governments could also do a much better job of making the apprenticeship process more attractive. “The philosophical issue is that when you pay an apprentice through [Employment Insurance] to do their in-class portion of their study, they’re being treated as an employee, not a learner,” she says. “If we want more skilled tradespeople, we’ve got to change.”

Back in Exshaw, Karl Eve’s wife, Michelle, a former teacher who, incidentally, has two university degrees, says Canadians who believe that university education is the only path to prosperity are selling themselves short. She recalls her own initial feelings when her husband announced he wanted to become a plumber. “I just had that sense, which we’re all a bit guilty of, I think, that the more capable people go to university and the less capable people end up in technical schools,” she says. “But when I saw what Karl was doing, the level of mathematics really impressed me. It’s stuff that most people just don’t know.” And unless more people make a similar discovery, Canada is going to have a lot more to worry about than leaky pipes.

Where are all the jobs?

Despite persistent high unemployment in Canada, many occupations are expected to face serious shortages of qualified workers over the next decade. The following shows the percentage of job openings that are forecast to go unfilled in each occupation, with more vacancies than actual job seekers.

Technical sales specialists, wholesale trade 23%

Logging and forestry workers 27%

Finance and insurance administrative occupations 28%

Stationary engineers and power station and system operators 28%

Cleaners 30%

Service station attendants, grocery clerks and shelf stockers 31%

Administrative and regulatory occupations (e.g., court officers) 34%

Transportation officers (e.g., pilots, air and marine traffic controllers) 34%

College and other vocational instructors 34%

Insurance and real estate sales workers and buyers 35%

Mine service workers and operators in oil and gas drilling 36%

Managers in protective services (e.g., police, fire, armed forces) 38%

Positions in agriculture, horticulture and aquaculture 38%

Administrative support clerks 40%

Logging machinery operators 40%

Technical jobs in libraries, archives, museums and galleries 45%

Supervisors in mining, oil and gas 58%

Secretaries, recorders and transcriptionists 71%

Supervisors in logging and forestry 100%

Beware: jobs expected to have too many workers in the next 10 years:

Managers in art, culture, recreation and sport

Security guards

Athletes and coaches

Fishing vessel skippers


Computer and information system professionals

Chefs and cooks

Pulp and paper machine operators

Physicists and astronomers



A closer look at the single biggest long-term threat to Canadian economic growth

  1. I am so utterly tired of hearing there is a shortage of workers. No, there is a shortage of well paying stable jobs. Canada has more qualified people within our country than jobs. Chose Canadians FIRST and pay them decent wages so they are able to afford housing, etc.

    • AND let’s go back to the time of the Companies footing the bill for training the employees! It is the Corporations that are demanding the technical skills! It is the Corporations that know exactly where the weaknesses are! And it is the Corporations that implement the changes through new technologies that demand those new skills to operate!

      This is not rocket-science! Stop looking at how to squeeze as much profit out of the industries as you can and start looking at the big picture! If the populace that is working for you cannot afford the products they make, ultimately the company is doomed to fail.

    • I agree with this statement. I am a skilled tradesman, and I find that the problem is nor that we are in short supply, but we are in shirt supply to work for the wages trying to be offered, to accept work on a solely contract basis.
      The company that saw me through my apprenticeship tried to treat and pay me as poorly as possible. They attempted to take hours off of my apprenticeship so that they would be justified in paying me on the lower end of the scale.
      In the end, for some reason they were quite surprised that I would not stay once licensed for the substandard wage they were offering.

    • THIS RIGHT HERE has been both me and my wife’s experience in our 18 years in the work force as ENGINEERS! We have made out fine, but it’s through sheer force of willpower and living beneath our means, not through decent paying stable employment. We’ve been through layoffs, work related moves, mergers, acquisitions, etc. Now that I am looking for work, AGAIN, I find employers not hiring, or offering even poorer terms than I had before. Having been in a position to hire more than once, I’ve found that you simply don’t get decent applicants if the workforce knows your organization doesn’t pay decently or treats their workers poorly.

      Companies have to look at themselves to understand that they are partially responsible for the source of their ‘worker shortage’. Pushing the government to open the ‘flood gates’ of foreign trained workers who will work for below market wages and ship it all back to their home countries doesn’t help matters – it just further entrenches positions.

  2. So, Technical jobs in libraries, archives, museums and galleries are needed while Computer and information system professionals and Managers in art, culture, recreation and sport are in oversupply. Sounds iffy, as there is considerably overlap of skills among the three. Where did this data come from? You failed to cite – the CDHowe report you mention has none of this data. Looking at the US data, the 10-year growth for physicists is expected at 14%, _”about average” compared to all professions, again contradicting your claim. Please, cite your sources.

    • As a library technician I would really like to know where these awesome technical jobs in libraries are. Everything I see is part-time, contract or close to minimum wage.

  3. thats the problem with Canada university are BIG business they sell education they dont care where the need is other than butts in the seats for money……parents are sending their kids to get useless degrees in offices that may pay 40k/yr maybe when some trades will pay 6 figures. instead now Canada will go overseas to get all these workers while our kids work for peanuts and not able to use their philosophy degrees. Kids use your brains before you enlist in some useless stuff.

    • There is no such thing as a useless degree.

      • Technically true, but there are degrees in which jobs related to those degrees are fully saturated, thus making that degree useless
        For example, not bashing on humanities, but there can only be so many historians, psychologists, anthropologists in the workforce
        Too many people are studying to obtain a degree in those fields, yet cannot find a job

        • No, actually there aren’t.

          Historians, psychologists, anthropologists are always needed. Anyone who can’t find a position in those disciplines….is lying.

          • Could you list some jobs that you can obtain as a history major?
            All I could think of are university professors and researchers, museum tour guides, archaeologists
            Most industries don’t need history, so where are the jobs??

          • Well number one you don’t get to be a historian, psychologist or anthropologist unless you have a PhD

            A certain PM may claim to be an economist, but all he has is a Masters.

            Canada has very few PhDs….it’s a major weakness of ours…..so it’s not like we have a surplus hanging out on street corners.

            Secondly, even if they only worked at universities……there are thousands of universities in the world. However you can also teach at high schools, work on projects, on digs…..psychologists are not only needed everywhere they can open their own practice.

          • I beg to differ
            Working at a university will not always be rewarding.. especially if you’re not in one of the top universities in the world

            TDSB and I believe Ontario in general has an over supply of teachers and not enough demand.


            It seems we have too many PhD’s according to the economist journal

            Psychologists are not needed everywhere: Most industries have no need for psychologists. Perhaps you’re thinking of a post-war era where soldiers require rehabilitation? Not in this day and age.
            Even if they are needed “everywhere,” we have too many of them. All the spots for psychologists have been filled and more graduates will not be ble to find jobs or open their own practice

          • Read something other than a rightwing Brit magazine.

            And give your head a shake.

          • Then I suggest you get your head out of Canada being a supposed utopia

          • WTH did I ever say Canada was any Utopia?

            I’ve consistently said the opposite!

          • By thinking that with any university degree you’ll be happy and life will be great is just wishful thinking, hence,you think Canada is a utopia

          • I’ve never said that either.

            What are you smoking?

            And what do you have against education?

          • I agree with KMSP.
            Emily, you’re a dumbass.

          • Both your hearing aids are shot, neither of you approve of education…..and you think I’M the one who’s crazy?? LOL

          • We don’t have anything against education, but you need the right education right now! A degree in medieval studies won’t help you get any of those jobs posted above (That’s an extreme example but it should help explain what the current situation of the mismatch of skills is right now).You can’t just major in whatever you want and expect to get a job in this day and age
            Personally, I think it is slightly an actual first world problem that you can’t do what you love because of the employment restraints to find a well paying job and maintain a certain lifestyle, but that’s life

          • A high school diploma won’t get you any jobs either. Should we eliminate high school?

            What you need are some definitions. If you want an education, go to university. If you want a trade, go to trade school.

            I don’t know why you’re keen to lose educated people in return for robots.

            Even developing countries know that it’s a waste to put someone with abilities in chemistry or classical literature on a construction site.

          • I’m not sure if you understand what the article is getting at..

            High school is required knowledge to enter into university so no we can’t get rid of those…

            The fact of the matter which the article pointed out was that we don’t have enough people going into trade schools and obtaining certain degrees in university.

            Today’s reality is also harsh in that you need a higher form of education to find a job. A high school diploma just won’t cut it. People go to universities and trade schools to find that competitive advantage so that they can get hired, not just to get an education.

            It is a waste to put someone with abilities in chemistry or classical literature on a construction site. The situation we have in Canada is an extension of that. There are jobs that are open, but people don’t have the right education for them. In cases, there are people becoming overeducated. Imagine obtaining a phD and the only job out there was becoming a college instructor. I wouldn’t take that kind of job after working hard to earn a doctorate degree
            Too many people are graduating with certain degrees, namely in the arts and humanities, that we have no where to put them in which they can perform jobs that relate to their education. We need people to educate themselves in different fields to fill up the job openings.

          • Oh I understand just fine. I’ve seen dozens of these articles.

            They all back up the govt’s lament that we have too many educated people in Canada, and not enough working class. Too many BA’s and not enough welders. Says so, right here:


            That our LEADER, that our MEDIA, that FELLOW-CANADIANS would preach this kind of thing is outrageous. Americans encourage other Americans to get ahead….but Canadians don’t, nossir. Stay on the bottom, sucker.

            High school is standard and normal NOW….but that’s recent. When my grandparents were kids, grade 5 was pretty good…..grade 8 meant you were goofing off instead of working. And who in the hell needed high school? Did it help you chop logs? Catch fish? Mine coal? Noooo. Buncha elitist crap.

            Do you see a repetition of history here?

            As to university….well that was for the rich, the upper crust. People who would never have a callus. Not fer the likes o’ us. Might as well day- dream about being Royalty or Rockefeller or summat.

            Canada doesn’t currently have enough trained people to fill the jobs available. Trade, professional, academic….any of it. It’s called ‘Structural Unemployment’ [I’ve warned about it for years]

            Hence the immigrants. We actually need a million a year.

            Yes, people need more education now….it’s the freakin’ 21st century!!!

            Did you expect we’d need only blacksmiths, railway labourers, dishwashers, pickaxe miners, loggers etc today??

            Commander Hadfield is running the International Space Station fergawdsake!

            Honey, NOBODY is overeducated, there is no such thing….. so bounce that little notion right out of your head.

            It is not your job or the govt’s job to ‘fill job openings’ and it never has been. Are you a bulletin board in an EI office? That’s up to individuals.

            We have no idea what jobs there will be even 5 years from now. Things are being advertised that were unheard of even a year ago!

            And how do you think we should educate kids for jobs in their lifetime? To retirement? When we can’t predict 5 years ahead.

            NOBODY KNOWS.

            And the best answer I’ve ever heard so far is CREATIVITY.

            Train them to be creative….because whatever practical skills they pick up along the way….math, language, coding, etc…..they’ll have to be…number one: Creative.

            And that m’dear is the field of LIBERAL ARTS.

            Robots can weld!

            NEW 21ST CENTURY RULE: If your job CAN be done by robots, it WILL be done by robots.

          • Well nobody likes unemployment, the unemployed and the government would much prefer that everyone has well paid jobs and lives happily

            Perhaps overeducated is a misleading term.. The situation is more along the lines of “Too many people are educated in a certain field so there’s nowhere for them to go after graduating”

            They are overeducated in the sense that they achieve degrees in university instead of college (and seeing as university is the school of academics while college is a school of trades, there is more knowledge gained in university)

            Sorry for that confusion

            It is impossible to perfectly predict the future but this argument is doing a pretty good job of speculating and I believe their predictions are accurate based on their argument. I think this article explains what kind of jobs there will be in the next couple of years

            Liberal arts has creative aspects but I really don’t think that creativity will help unless you have a rich knowledge in a specific field, and even then, you might not be able to transfer that skill. Being creative in writing a novel and writing a computer program is very different. Someone can be very spectacular at one form of creative thinking, but not so good at another. Also, it’s very difficult to be creative when you don’t have a firm understanding of a specific field, whether it’s welding, engineering, computer programming. Thinking of a creative cure for a disease only works when you specialise in the life or health sciences, not liberal arts.
            I think liberal arts is NOT APPLICABLE ENOUGH such that everyone can obtain a degree in arts and humanities and obtain any form of job. The number of jobs in the field of liberal arts is LIMITED and with too many graduates in that field, they remain unemployed.

            So people must educate themselves in different things in order to survive. I’m not saying no one should go into liberal arts, but that field is already saturated so only a select few can find jobs after graduating.

            Yes, Skills obtained from trades are slowly being replaced by machines
            BUT, very very very slowly.

            There are bulldozers to replace lots of men with shovels, but someone still has to operate that bulldozer and so a construction worker learns to operate that machine

            A fully self functioning robot is still a long way off (my friend is in the Engineering Sciences program at the University of Toronto and I’ve heard from him, it takes months to build a self functioning robot to do simple tasks). When welding, each task will not be the same as tasks before. A robot cannot fully replace a welder yet.
            But given enough decades, robots can replace these trades, but robots are also being developed to replace surgeons. This is one of the reasons why the future can’t be predicted precisely but it can still be predicted accurately

            Your solution to fill the job openings in trades with immigrants isn’t exactly a neat solution. Not all immigrants are equipped with those skills and so they will have to go to college to re-educate themselves. Firms also don’t accept foreign work experience due to different standards.

            This article is giving advice to people out there saying “Hey! There are not many positions you can obtain with a liberal arts degree because there are too many people graduating with those. Meanwhile, there are lots of job openings in trades!”
            Perhaps people will try out trades and find out it’s not so bad. Then the unemployment rate falls and job openings get filled up. Everyone’s happy, productivity increases, and the economy grows.

          • Very quaint pov. Still wants to limit education.

            PS Tell your friend at the UofT to enroll elsewhere

          • “Americans encourage other Americans to get ahead” HAHA do you envy the Americans’ economic situation?!

            The school situation in past generations was also legitimate. We would probably be arguing against sending everyone to high school back then. We needed to raise the standard for the modern generations because we have a great deal more knowledge and globalized economy to be aware of than they did then. No major outsourcing from China, no computer programs to learn, no huge modern worldwide history that genuinely affects our lives.

          • Americans wouldn’t have a ‘situation’ if they’d stop invading other countries….that’s where their money is being spent.

            Where it’s being earrned….is in innovation, new tech, educated people…..

            We did act like that about highschool….and we needed to raise the standard….we need to do so again.

          • VERY TRUE!!!

          • Well Said KMSP. liked the last paragraph.

          • This comment was deleted.

          • Maybe you’re on drugs. Or a whiny kid blaming everyone but himself for being a loser.

          • Emily, is it your Liberal Arts degree that enables you to construct such elegant arguments in support of your position? Just wondering.

      • Human Rights and Social Equality Degree. Totally useless.

        • You won’t think so when it’s your human rights that are in danger.

  4. Think about all the dumb***** you meet everyday. People have no grasp about politics, history, philosophy, culture, literature.
    We need MORE people with humanities degrees, not less.
    The problem isn’t that humanities degrees produces useless workers (consider how Philosophy majors often outperform Business School Graduates…they just struggle getting a foot in the door); the problem is that business is run by people LACKING the insight and wisdom gained by these degrees.
    A populace that cannot think critically is doomed in a democracy.

    • If you ran a business, would you hire someone who has the knowledge in the field, or someone who might be able to pick it up because they’re smart?
      Risk analysis is involved, as well as a requirement of certain skills and knowledge for positions in business

      • Am I hiring for a position that I think won’t go anywhere? I hire the specialist.

        Am I hiring for a position that I hope will be expanding and growing as my business does? If I have half a brain, I hire the person who’s smart and who I know I can train and who has the ability to analyze new situations as they come up without necessarily needing me to watch over their shoulder.

        • Well if someone does have an Master’s degree in business, finance, commerce, etc. do you really think they can’t analyse new situations?

          Just because someone has a brain doesn’t mean they can apply it in any situation. If you try to train a smart person who graduated from literature in statistics, finance, mathematics, accounting, etc. the chance of them succeeding is slim.

          That’s what the whole article is about, there is a mismatch of skills and education

          • Actually, having worked with and seen those people, yes, I do think they’ can’t. Not worth a damn.

            See, it’s pretty obvious you don’t understand even the basics of what degrees provide or are. A Master’s Degree is a specialist degree. Specialists are great in their chosen area. Take them out of that particular area and they tend to drown unless they’ve got some other education backing them up.

            A Bachelor of Arts degree is a rounded degree. Your major in a bachelor of arts is an area of slight specialization, but in order to achieve the degree you need a rounded education.

            To get an MBA, you simply need a fat wallet. Seriously. MBA’s are a joke in the academic community because the moment you get those grads out of their specific sub-field, they become useless.

            What you are right in is that just because someone has a brain doesn’t mean they can apply it in any situation. That’s why we *have* the general “Bachelor of Arts” field, which, trains them to do exactly that, because in addition to your major, provides a well rounded education. So yes, someone who graduated from literature can actually do a pretty damned good job in statistics (hint: statistics is a pretty basic skill that is practically a requirement for any half-decent researcher), and can do a reasonable to good job in math and finance. They probably won’t enjoy it, but they can do it. Accounting could give them some trouble because accounting is mostly a collection of arbitrary rules on the ways and means to report company statistics that make it easier for people to understand what the company’s been doing.

            The mismatch comes because companies don’t want to spend money on training. Hire someone with a bachelor of arts, and you can be pretty sure you’ll be able to train them fairly quickly on the particulars of your position. Companies don’t want to do that. They want the person and the public to pay for the training and produce drones capable of doing exactly what they want them to do, and no more. They’re looking at people as replaceable cogs of their machine, rather than vital agencies for the growth and expansion of their business.

          • You’re underestimating the knowledge required in the workforce. You can’t be trained in a few weeks and perform jobs which require knowledge gained over several years. A person who majors or specialises in statistics, mathematics, or accounting can obviously perform a better job in those fields compared to a person who comes out with a bachelor of arts.

            University was originally for people who want to acquire knowledge and enrich themselves. Right now, universities are more seen as additional education to obtain a good, stable job. A bachelor of arts gives a well rounded education as you said, but a well rounded education won’t necessarily get you a job because you’re undereducated: You have a shallow knowledge of a range of subjects opposed to a deep knowledge of a specific field.

            From a business standpoint, why train a humanities major in statistics when you can just hire a statistician. That statistician will do a much better job as they have spent years educating themselves in that field. You won’t have to spend money on training.

            A better example of this mismatch of education would be engineering or computer science. Learning physics and mechanics, or coding and software design can’t be trained in a couple of weeks.

            Even looking at the list of job openings, you need to major in the respective field to be hired. Imagine trying to cook with only an education in arts and humanities. Supervising logging, mining, agriculture firms will require more than training: you need an education in those fields.

            Don’t expect to be able to do everything with a Bachelor of Arts Degree.You need to specialise in specific fields that relate to your future job. A specialization in history will not get you a job as a physicist. That’s reality as expressed by the article.

  5. Ahh the ever popular once-a-month article, BE-A-PLUMBER

    Most of these items are meant to funnel people into working in the oilsands…..that big hole in the back-of-beyond where they can play Hinterland Who’s Who?

    None of this is high-tech….it’s the same stuff we’ve had for a century.

    Hewers of wood, and drawers of water…..that’s us.

    • Well, there’s a lot more high tech than you apparently assume.

      • Um….I’ve been promoting high-tech training for eons. I know exactly what it is…..and this ain’t it.

        • High tech probably is wider than whatever narrow field in which you involve yourself.

          • Economic Development….global development analyst.

            Stop making silly assumptions.

          • Not oil and gas, then… so you have no real idea what technologies are used.

          • Sigh….yes, I’m aware of all current technologies used.

            However, that’s not high tech.

          • Heh heh heh… directional drilling control is high enough tech that until ten years ago there was not enough computational power available to do real-time guiding of the drill head. You can’t spend half a day waiting to find out where your drill is in relation to the narrow formation you need to target, for example.

            Seismic 3D studies often involve manipulating petabytes of data simultaneously to image target areas.

          • Heh heh heh…..oil wells were invented in China in the 3rd century! Adding more things to them is nice, but doesn’t make it high tech….or the knowledge economy for that matter.


          • You should try learning about the technology some day.

          • Honey, I sell it.

          • Where at Radio Shack?

          • There is no ‘Radio Shack’ anymore. And it was never high tech.

          • I know you’re trying to save face here……but you’re just being silly.

          • Please provide your sources

          • You just want to sit in a comfortable chair away from life in a mine. That is high-tech to you.

          • You must be new here Bob.

            High tech is the future…the present actually.

  6. Most employers / work sites have the most outlandish rules. Why? So Canadians (who supposedly have rights) wont work there and then they can hire anyone from anywhere after only having the job listed for 3 days.

    CNRL : hoodies and hooded jackets are not allowed or have to be tucked in under coveralls
    PCL / Melloy : Monogoggles safety goggles are mandatory and overtime is forbidden.

    And REALLY!?!? HUMAN CAPITAL?? Please rephrase.

    • Actually you can work as much overtime as you want, you just can’t get the company to pay you for it.

  7. And in other news, it hasn`t exactly been a secret since the 1960`s that the baby boomers would be retiring enmasse some 40 – 50 years later.

  8. i submit that the lack of stable jobs is the biggest problem. i was laid off after 9 yrs. why would i ever put myself back in that situation? Why would i work for corporations? They don’t care about me. Nobody wants to work for bad corporations. We have morals and corporations don’t. I won’t go back to school at my age knowing it’s just a big money grab. The country has too much debt. I won’t incur more. The industry will have to adapt. Slow down or shut down. I could care less about harper and his oil puppeteers needing manpower. He is greed. Greed is what many Canadians abhor.

    • I do believe that’s the biggest load of excuses I’ve ever heard!

      Flash….industry isn’t going to slow or shut down because of you. They will simply move offshore, or use robots, or bring in more immigrants, or whatever it takes.

      If your plan for retirement involves a cardboard box and a street corner, you’re going about it the right way.

      • LOL

      • Source please

    • Employees have no more loyalty to corporations either. A company can spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on direct and indirect costs training a new hire, only to see them jump ship at the first opportunity.

  9. This better not be some kind of lame excuse to keep flooding Canada with unnecessary 3rd world immigrants, most of whom have no marketable skills anyway. There is no “skills gap” that can’t be solved by providing necessary training and education to Canadians.

    • Go to the immigration site, and fill out the questionaire. It involves a point system

      At one stage even Bill Gates couldn’t have qualified.

      Immigrants are better educated and qualified than Canadians

      We need at least a million immigrants a year for ten years

      However, maybe we’ll find your score so low you should be deported.

      • Stand-alone immigrants may be on average better educated, but the same cannot be said for ‘family reunification’ immigrants or refugees.

        Immigrants who can contribute to Canadian society ought to be welcomed, while those who do not should be subject to deportation, especially if convicted of indictable offenses.

        And they ought to be doing their appealing from outside Canada, not here on the taxpayer’s dime.

        • Quite true.

          However, we’re not importing slaves here….people work and contribute better when their families are with them. Wouldn’t you?

          Sounds like you just want cheap labour….not talent at all.

          Ain’t gonna happen. So stop being cheap.

          We need them. They don’t need us.

          • Immigrant brings over aged grandparents, who then bring over others of their children who would not make it as stand-alone immigrants, and they in turn bring over in-laws and on it goes. many of them speak so little English that they cannot even function in Canadian society, much less contribute.

          • LOL You are hilarious.

            All immigrants to Canada must speak English or French. Bonus points for both.

          • Only stand-alone immigrants.

            Family ones are not subject to that restriction.

          • No, they’re the bonus.

          • Im sorry but please elaborate on this bonus you speak of, i have been following much of your posts and they all point in this direction, your agenda doesnt fit the means, i cant quite figure out what your trying to acheive by all your posts of immigration being so glorious and the world is a much better place with immigrating millions of people, they are such a great asset to Canada because born Canadians are stupid and uneducated and unskilled so lets bring them over and do it fast before Canada implodes! Lets not forget Canada is still a fairly young country and the rest of the world has a huge head start on us but I think we are holding our own just fine, let us catch up on our own gracefully without the influence of the world cronies. Canada is the best country in the world for a reason, we are young minded and come with fresh ideals which is a reflection of our current position in the world. Anyone who follows your posts can clearly see you are so consumed with defending and promoting immigration you type and perhaps speak before you think. You appear to be an educated person so use those brains and think about your what your implying about your fellow brothers and sisters before saying hurry hurry the sky is falling, Canadians are stupid bring over milions of immigrants!

          • Well if you have other members of the family with PhDs for example, but they don’t speak English or French, a family pass gets us some great bonuses.

            If it was up to me, I’d let everybody in….it’s going to come to that anyway….there are something like 50M migrants travelling in the world right now…..and it’s only going to get bigger. Climate change alone is producing huge amounts of them….floods, drought…..soon, we won’t be able to stop anybody at all. We have the longest border in the world with the US…..and you can easily walk across it. We have the longest coastline in the world and very few Mounties and boats…..and boats could be docking anywhere, without our knowledge right now, much less in a warming climate.

            In the meantime we have rules…..however, we need immigrants. Canada is made up of immigrants in fact, and we need….literally….millions of them. You won’t have a health system or a pension without them.

            90% of this country is empty ya know. It’s not like we don’t have the room!

            Canadians are generally complacent….smug….there is a comfy life here, and you can make a decent living with little effort. Not get rich, but be comfy. So…. many of them don’t bother with education, and they can’t see the writing on the wall.We are couch potatoes. It’s just like we ‘watch’ sports, but don’t play them.

            Half the country is functionally illiterate. Always has been. And we’re not an ambitious bunch. Big TV, a car, maybe an ATV….

            Canada is not the best country in the world….that’s a bumper sticker, not reality. We’re more like 11th on the list. We are also aging fast….and not having enough babies to make up the difference….hence the need for immigrants.

            Even so we’re only letting in 250,000 a year. At least the legal ones.

            So immigration is necessary….and inevitable.

          • Our current immigration levels are unsustainable and unaffordable. Our infrastructure and education and medical systems are buckling under the weight. Our job market is not growing at a rate to allow skilled immigrants to find work.

            And who do you propose will pay for everyone that you let in? You? Others? How much did you pay in taxes last year? How much do you really contribute in total a year? My guess is very little.

          • a) Canada is 90% empty

            b) More than you make in 5 years, guaranteed.

            c) How will you get a pension? Healthcare?

          • You’re an idiot. You do realize that something like 85%-90% of Canada is uninhabitable? There’s a reason 90% of Canada is empty….

          • No

          • Wrong!

          • My brother lived next to a place where the guy who owned it had a wife and two kids, his brother had his wife and three kids and they had their parents living there. 11 people in a small three bedroom. Beds in the living room. To make matters worse it was used as a halfway house of sorts for east indian immigrants. I personally saw groups of random people going in and out of that place at all hours of the night with luggage being loaded and unloaded into vans. Several neighbours complained and the city said they couldn’t do anything about it despite there being at times upwards of 15-20 people living in the house for weeks at a time.

          • When I was a kid the immigrants from Europe, Dutch, Swiss, Hungarian etc were doing the same thing.

            My parents generation was shocked and appalled. But a few years of everyone into hard work and cheap living later, they all got nice houses…paid for…vehicles and TVs and were living the middle-class dream.

            My parents generation was still putzing along and complaining.

      • I beg to differ, depends where the immigrants are coming from, europe maybe but most of the immigrants coming here are from middle east and they are clearly not more qualified, trained or educated.

        • Simply not true….just your racism

          • See…..here we go with the racism thing again, LOL, you get backed into a corner and then throw out the racism card, very sad! Its factual, if you actually met and knew me you would know I am soooo far from being a racist youd choke on every word you have spewed out, I am not scared of the word and you can accuse me of it all you like……….

          • You have no source for the majority of immigrants coming from the Middle East…..you made it up, because you’re racist. If the shoe fits…..

            We take qualified immigrants from every country on earth, and they are not from any one country in particular.

            We don’t have many ‘white’ immigrants any more…….and never will again. World wars, communism, cold war….are over. ‘White’ people are staying in their own counties for the most part. There is no reason to come here to live permanently.

          • Pardon me miss emily but who are you to say I made anything up? You havent a clue who or what I am. The very same thing could be said about any of your posts, this is your arrogance, you assume! You think your smarter then people and can outwit but your not, your just a really good typer with no real life apparent by how many posts you spew on here and elsewhere. You type a good game but people can read through all your verbal diharrea, especially me! Although this will sound stereotypical and im sure you will accuse me of being a racist again but it is also factual, even your so called average stupid uneducated unskilled Canadian can see this, why is it at every fast food chain, corner store and taxi cab the employees are 90% east indian? That must be at least 3+ million unskilled people, although their job would be very tough dealing with all them ignorant people in the drive through their job does not require a lot of skill.

          • Just because someone works at a fast food chain, corner store, taxi cab doesn’t mean they are unskilled and uneducated
            You should talk to some of these people and you’ll find that they have post-secondary degrees, graduate degrees, even doctorate degrees
            Some were even doctors and lawyers back in their home country but they can’t find jobs because many firms out there will not accept the foreign degrees, education, and experience

      • Ya for sure because a third world medical training is on par with western medical system standards.

        • You know of course they have to qualify at Canadian standards?

  10. STOP THE TRADES TAX>>>>>It only discourages more students from entering a trade which already has a problem attracting new workers.

    • Source please

  11. All these comments about the shortage of qualified workers in the work force of today; yet if a young person who is on welfare approches them about helping to train him in specinfic area where there is a high demand for workers, they tell him that he is on his own. They would rather give him a rather meannigless rent subsidy than him being usefull tax paying person in a good qualifying job.

  12. How are engineers in a shortage. There are tons of engineers that I’ve seen require employment. May I link you too a popular video of a person who’s homeless with 2 degrees and one is an engineer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8eNPAH46oI8

    Big companies want it to look like there’s a shortage because they want bright new engineers to take low manual labour pay. I suggest the new generation to disregard what is said about how engineers are in a shortage and don’t go into the field if you believe that you can easily find employment. Choose what you want to do and only then do i find it’s ok to be an engineer because employment is not easy.

    • Dude another engineer here. It’s hard to find employment to much saturation in the field.

      • Engineers are actually in short supply.

        Were you just looking in your neighbourhood?

  13. artiste decorate “peintre , sculpture”

  14. Hmm, the choice between studying something you love and are passionate about VERSUS studying hard for something you don’t care about simply because it’s good for the economy and could have more security in the future. It’s hard to be good at something (and balance it with work and extra-curriculars) when you just can’t be bothered to care about it.

    Perhaps if the cost of education weren’t so bloody high, this choice wouldn’t be so difficult for students. We COULD have it both ways by studying what we love and something more ‘practical’ or ‘useful’ according to the stats, by just adding a little more time into our education. Unfortunately it is too difficult to do, and given the choice, our generation would rather our minds to be expanded when young, than our wallets when old. Too bad for the economy.

    • yeah, if someone is “born to mime”, they probably understand they aren’t headed for a stable career. But if they are that passionate about miming, they will probably be quite happy without financial freedom or material possessions. But miming at a 99% protest is silly.

  15. Just because the trades charge a lot, it doesn’t mean they make a lot. I personally know a large number of self-employed trades people leaving the field because people don’t pay their bills. It’s hard to make a lot of money when those you do services for don’t pay you back.

  16. Kind of short sited to short-sell the Arts and Humanities. I have a Masters in Arts in Cultural Studies and make just shy of 100K per year. I have worked in Finance, Oil & Gas, Government and Academia and have NEVER had to look long for work. Arts students can enjoy positions in Business Writing, Communications, Performance Development, HR, Finance, Regulatory, and Project Management to name just a few. Now I am a Corporate Culture Consultant for a City and I work in transforming organizational culture. It is not the degree that determines success, it is the skill set. Education only provides so much, then students need to advance their technical skills. But technical education is also limited in its scope. I’m a big fan of acquiring both…

    • What? Well how dare you? You’re supposed to be miserable! LOL

  17. Based on the chart I see a future with no trees, low wages and higher insurance rates.

  18. It seems to me one of the main problems is that most Canadian companies are not willing to invest in training. I’ve been surprised by friends living in both the UK and Australia when they tell me how much training their employers were willing to give them, especially back when they were starting out after graduation and didn’t fit the bill perfectly. Not all, but many Canadian employers seem to expect the perfect candidate to emerge, and to not be payed too competitive a wage at that.

  19. Polytechnics Canada is on the right track with government support. Fortunately, there are several programs out right now to assist with the topics that they covered, such as the Applied Research & Commercialization $100K Grant (http://bit.ly/Z7kLJb) and the Federal Apprenticeship Job Creation Tax Credit (http://bit.ly/ZZpSsw).

  20. A professional or government white collar worker gets vastly more job security than most blue collar workers. Even niche professions like actuaries have near-monopolistic gatekeeper professional associations and accreditation systems that drive supply down and wages up. same for physicians, lawyers, engineers, and those with closer ties to government like teachers.

    Since the decline of unionisation the trades have also declined, as has their status and especially any job or (dare I say it) career security. White collar workers have substantially less overhead and personal risk in setting up entrepreneurship or as major corporate employees, whereas the trades almost all have to “work for” someone in a master/servant relationship rather than a client/consultant relationship. This reflects ancient social class biases.

    No wonder the vast majority of parents want to get their kids educated in white collar professions.

  21. One large problem with our, and any, economy is the lack of companies that will employ a new graduate. I have had a college diploma in Network Engineering since July 12 of last year and no responses or iquiries despite a presence on LinkedIn and facebook, and looking for relevant employment in London, Canada.

    Economics 101 reaches that there can be no prosperity during periods of economic stagnation which are created by a reduction in the cash amount. Why then, do we give more money to people who will not spend it because there is no need for them to do so and reduce taxes on those who are best able to pay? Why are large sums given to companies for job creation, companies that subsequently use this money to relocate to an area of less expensive labour and institute no procedures of reclamation?

    There is much more but these will serve as a point for policy makersto begin deliberation.

  22. Perhaps if people didn’t need a well paying job in order to afford the skyrocketing cost of post-secondary schooling, there would be less of a problem in finding properly skilled workers. Debt is affecting young adults as soon as they leave home and making it impossible to climb out. The government continues to cut in to the financing for education to apply the money to other debts, but they are creating a problem by making it so people need income support just to survive.

  23. The skilled jobs gap is very much exaggerated by companies and the federal government. In fact, the gap is the narrowest in decades: BMO http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/story/2013/04/03/business-labour-skill-bmo.html

    Big business has a vested interest in preaching this disinformation, and much of the press, including Macleans, is gobbling it up and spewing it out. Industry’s ulterior motive: bringing in “just in time” temporary foreign workers that get paid less and receive no benefits, or hiring Canadians on short term contracts. With this type of hiring, companies also do not need to invest in long-term training and socially-responsible HR practices. See: RBC.

  24. Hello and thanks for this article.

    Can you please provide the source for the data in the infographic?

  25. Okay my issue with this is that they automatically talk about hiring foriegn people from other countries when we have millions in social assistance who would love to work but can’t afford the education or student debt. Bring back trade schools and offer programs to train those on assistance in the trades so that they can finally be free of needing assistance. Hell there is an entire population of homeless and at risk youth who would love the opportunity to learn a trade! Lets train them instead of spending millions to bring foreign workers here! There has also been a rise in learning disabilities, sitting through lectures doesn’t work for everyone, hencethe need for more trade schools. There are tons on ODSP and other provincial disability programs who would love learning a trade and getting back in the work force but the way the school system is set up it prevents them from doing so. The government needs to start thinking long tem, whole picture and stop lining their own wallets while millions starve trying to make a living.

  26. “Numerous studies warn Canada is facing a massive shortage of skilled workers over the next few decades”

    This is BS! Im a skilled worker and cant find work in my field (IT)

  27. Total crap. I tried for years to get into a trade union. I have a BA and many years of work experience. But was turned down. Trades lack people because of system of certification limits the numbers available.

  28. Having both education at a university, a college level and working during the past 25 years, I would ascertain that the government itself along with big business pressure have caused the shortage of skilled trades workers. With all the regulation increases in the past 25+ years and the ever increases in jobs that produce nothing that include the administers of new regulation, fees for such, etc., the trades people who actually produce something of tangible use are left with less and less money for their effort.

    This coupled with corporate greed whereby some trade work is kept at a lower wage expectation on purpose. We are witnessing in many Canadian trades that a slowdown is purposefully being created or foreign labour is being brought in to fill jobs at lower pay grades than otherwise would occur. As mentioned in above posts, there are many qualified people for most trade jobs in Canada. The problem is the work is either contract or low paying, so those with the skills are opting for other options such as self employment such as the plumber in the story. It was noted that he works on his own. This is the only viable option as regulation, fees and taxes for a small operator almost make it impossible to hire an apprentice and pay a living wage. I used to employ three others in my business, however, with paying them decently, I found I couldn’t make any extra money for my effort. Therefore, I now only employ myself and skip most of the administration work required. Further, not all plumbers, electricians throughout the country are charging the rates shown in this article

  29. OK, two jobs mentioned here oil&gas and secretarial. I went to university to get my steam ticket to work in oil&gas but I could not find a job because I had no previous experience. So now I’m paying for my university and driving truck to try and stay ahead of my debts. My wife worked for a company for 5 years and went to college for administration training but she was laid off and now she can’t find an employer who will pay her more than she makes on EI. So the workers with the skills and education are out here but employers have decided they would rather not hire home grown talent.

  30. Employers are all looking to hire experienced workers. None of them, as far as the research I have done, want to hire someone without experience and train them. They are not interested in investing in people. The all mighty dollar or the bottom line is the master in all sectors. At the other extreme, because there is such a shortage of jobs in Ontario at the moment, workers are being hired at minimum wage and are expected to produce more. This is done because so many unemployed persons are in line to get jobs. Persons are easily replaced in many sectors in Ontario. We need to evaluate our economy in accordance to quality of life and not quantity of profits. To employers I say, invest in new workers and train them yourselves to what your needs are in your company. It does not seem like university degrees or college training is working as these institutions are not able to adapt to the demands of skills anyway.

  31. Another piece of bumph based loosely on accepted corporate stupidomics. Propaganda rules!

  32. I am so sick of hearing this stuff, i am 24 years old and i have been a year 1 plumber for 6 years, i have applied more times then i can count to plumbing jobs and 90% of the time i get told, sorry not hiring year ones, i need people with experience.

    and the few jobs i have got last 4 to 10 weeks and then i am layed off.

    Basically Fuck the trades i dont see how i could ever buy a house with a trades job seeing as how every trades job is just a ticking clock counting down to your next lay off.