Canada’s looming skills gap has resulted in programs like the Canada Job Grant, which helps employers with the cost of training and skills upgrading. But who is ultimately responsible for the cost of keeping skills up to date?
The overwhelming majority of Canadian workers (91 per cent) feel it is the employer’s responsibility for ensuring employees’ skills and competencies match up with their job requirements, according to a recent WorkMonitor study by Randstad.
"This may in part be related to the fact that the study also revealed that more than eight in 10 Canadian workers feel that the demands on employees are higher than five years ago," said Tom Turpin, President, Randstad Canada.
Employed Canadians are much less likely to pursue advanced training on their own, found the study.
"Canadians already have the highest rate of tertiary college education in the world," said Turpin, citing a recent OECD report evaluating global education. "After years in school, for many there is an expectation that they should be able to get a good job and a strong career. That's simply an unrealistic impression in many professions."
But although Canadian workers expect employers to provide skills training, only 57 per cent feel that formal education will become more important in their position.
"Education and training is a serious investment for either a company or an individual. It isn't an easy thing for a job seeker or worker to do on their own, but many professions require it," said Turpin, speaking about retraining requirements for technologies professions, or further advancement required for financial designations like a CPA. "Canadians who are looking for opportunities for training within their workplace, or through their employer, need to start that discussion today."
Employers need to focus on training and promoting from within instead of relying too much on initiatives like the Canada Job Grant, which won’t be fully implemented until 2017, said the survey.
"When you train someone and bring them up through the ranks it can be beneficial to your employer brand. It can also be a very beneficial cost savings, removing the need to engage in a more complex hiring process, or train new employees on your internal processes," said Turpin.
© Copyright Canadian HR Reporter, Thomson Reuters Canada Limited. All rights reserved.