As the summer employment season begins, a report from BMO Bank of Montreal provides good news for students with a post-secondary education, as well as other Canadians working to upgrade their education and skills.
Seventy per cent of Canadian businesses are looking for post-secondary education when hiring, found the survey of 500 small business owners. One-third are seeking job applicants with specialized educational backgrounds.
"Competitiveness, the growing knowledge-based economy and demographic shifts are changing not just the types of jobs being created across the country, but also the skills and educational requirements businesses are looking for in applicants," said Cathy Pin, vice-president of commercial banking at BMO Bank of Montreal.
"In fact, many of Canada's most successful and fastest-growing small and medium-sized companies are innovation-focused and depend on their employees' skills and knowledge both to develop new products and services and improve their productivity."
Just one-third (32 per cent) of businesses surveyed indicated they will be looking to hire applicants with no post-secondary education or training.
No post-secondary education
A college education
A university education
Specialized post-secondary education
"On average, the better educated you are, the more likely you will find work," said Sal Guatieri, senior economist at BMO Capital Markets. "The employment rate for post-secondary graduates was 71 per cent in 2011, compared with 62 per cent for those with just a high school diploma and only 40 per cent for those who did not finish high school."
Once on the job, 57 per cent of new hires required basic or significant training and experience, found the survey. Businesses in Ontario (22 per cent) were more likely to say new employees required significant training and guidance compared with those businesses hired in Atlantic Canada (10 per cent).
Nationally, businesses said only one-quarter (26 per cent) of recent hires brought a solid foundation of knowledge and skill with them to their new job.
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