Can Ontario prevent future skill shortages?

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Unemployment remains high, but employers increasingly report finding it difficult to recruit staff with the right skills because of shortages in specific industries. Now the Ontario Provincial Government hopes throwing money at the problem will reduce it in the future.

The Ontario Youth Jobs Strategy that was approved today as part of the Ontario budget aimed at addressing the skills mismatch.

"We need to make sure that we are providing training programs in areas where there actually are jobs,” Premier Kathleen Wynn said.

Industries including mining and natural resources, IT and manufacturing are already experiencing shortages, and the problem is expected to get worse as new technology and innovations transform the economy and create increasing demands for a more highly skilled workforce.

"We need to help young people get the education and training they need to find meaningful work," Colleges Ontario president and CEO Linda Franklin said. "This is particularly important as the skills mismatch in Ontario continues to prevent many young people from landing good jobs."

Franklin hopes the implementation of the strategy will include measures to encourage more people to pursue higher education, including apprenticeship training. The province should also strengthen its credit-transfer system for post-secondary students, to help more people get a combination of both university and college education.

"Preparing graduates to enter the workforce quickly and with the right skills and credentials must be a top priority for Ontario," said Franklin added.


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