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Survey Shows The Widening Skills Gap In Canada

19 Oct 2013


Immigration News

Canada’s shortage of skilled employees is widening, and government policies tightening the rules concerning foreign workers made the situation even worse.

This is what Hays PLC, a global recruiting firm’s new study shows. The study was conducted by surveying skills shortage in 30 developed countries all over the world.

For the severity of its skills shortage, Canada ranks 9th among these countries, and it further went down in the last year.

However, the report said that the skills gap is even worse in the United States, Japan, Sweden, Germany and many other countries. In the surveyed countries, more than half have some kind of talent mismatch.

The report said that skills gap is not directly linked to an individual country’s state of the economy, but is more closely associated with the educational institutions’ efficiency in equipping graduates with the appropriate skills, the effectiveness of employers’ training and government policy.

Alistair Cox, Hays chief executive said that Canada and other developed countries’ situation will probably get worse as the global economy recovers.

Mr. Cox said that jobs are being created, but there are simply not enough skills at the right time in the right place.

He said that Canada is beginning to show some worrying trends as there is a gap between what industries are looking for versus the available skills.

Mr. Cox noted that most of the jobs in Canada’s hard to fill jobs category are related to the flourishing construction industry and others are in professions where there are shortages globally – like engineers, mobile technology programmers and resources industry workers. He said that companies are struggling very much to find the high-end niche skills that are required for the jobs available now.

Mr. Cox also said that one problem in filling the skills shortage is that educational institutions take a long time to divert their resources to the opening jobs while immigration rules are being tuned to unskilled and mass migration issues, rather than highly-skilled migration.

The immigration and jobs issue came to a head previously this year in Canada, when the federal government toughened the rules to make it even more difficult for companies to hire temporary international workers.

Mr. Cox said the nations that are most fruitful in filling empty spots for professional workers have immigration systems that are flexible and target particular skills. He said that immigration needs to differentiate between high-skilled professionals, and middle and lower-level skills that must be in great abundance in their home country.

He added that immigration policy has to be developed and designed by government in regards to a business’ needs and that link-age should be an absolutely iron bond.

Despite its latest move where the temporary foreign worker program was made more stringent, the Canadian Government said that it will introduce a new model to choose immigrants based on the skills needed by Canadian employers.


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