Canada lags other countries on job training: report

Business, government must work together to improve skills training

Despite the threat of a skilled worker shortage, less than 30 per cent of adult workers in Canada received any job-related education last year, according to a recent report.

The report is the result of the Forum on Employer Investment in Workplace Learning organized by the Canadian Policy Research Networks (CPRN), which was held last November.

Canada lags Britain and the United States, where 35 per cent and 45 per cent of workers took part in work-related education respectively.

The report stated that Canada risks falling woefully behind other countries in competitiveness unless business and government work together to increase skills training.

Business, labour, government and academia leaders from across Canada who attended the forum in November set priorities for increasing educational opportunities at work.

Recommendations from the report include:

• forming learning partnerships among employers, employees, unions, governments, and educational institutions;

• developing a "tool box" of training initiatives that can be tailored to the needs of specific employers;

• awareness campaigns to convince employers of the benefits of investing in workplace learning; and

• enhanced government financial incentives, such as tax credits for companies or the use of Employment Insurance to provide benefits to workers on training leave.

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