Bridging the skills gap towards the 21st-century workforce

Employment-linked education has most promise
By Wendy Cukier
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 08/11/2016

The “skills gap” — meaning jobs without people and people without jobs — continues to dominate discussions among policymakers and employers. How do we ensure Canada has the skills it needs to thrive in the 21st century, particularly at a time when disruptive technologies and shifting markets are expected to put many jobs at risk?

“How do you plan when you cannot predict?” is a question that has preoccupied many of those working on labour market and training issues. One big question is always: Where will the jobs be? What regions, what sectors, what levels? 

The “talent gap” is often shaped by regional or sectoral forces but it is multifaceted. For many young people, the future appears grim. Unemployment rates, particularly in large urban centres, are high and unemployment among youth with challenges — such as Aboriginal youth or those with disabilities — is much higher.