News Update

Immigrants, aboriginals and older workers key to skills solution, new study says 

Canada needs to do a much better job of helping immigrants integrate into the workforce and developing capacity in apprenticeship programs, according to a report released today publishing the results of an exhaustive cross-Canada consultation and engagement exercise organized by the Public Policy Forum and sponsored by the Certified General Accountants Association of Canada (CGA-Canada).

The report reflects material gathered from eight regional roundtable meetings that pulled together a cross-section of participants from government, business, labour, post-secondary education, aboriginal and immigrant communities, and youth, and culminated in a national summit in Ottawa. The project was produced to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the CGA designation in Canada.

Twelve recommendations are set out in Getting on the Same Page: Report on the CGA-Canada Summit on Skills and Learning Organized by the Public Policy Forum, which examines the country’s most pressing skills and learning challenges.

According to the report, Canada should:

  • Review and address access to child care programs, particularly those that allow aboriginal and immigrant women to acquire skills training and jobs;
  • Directly confront the issue of latent racism and cultural obstacles in the education system and workforce;
  • Consider a national credit transfer system to address the issue of academic mobility and to encourage lifelong learning among a highly mobile population;
  • Create incentives and adapt pension-eligibility rules to encourage retirement-aged workers to stay in the workforce longer, even if only on a part-time basis;
  • Provide enhanced incentives to employers who offer jobs to skilled immigrants, recognizing the additional costs of training;
  • Create a national workforce database for educational institutions, as well as public and private sector employers.

The report is being sent to policy and decision makers at the provincial and federal level to seek their views and assess progress on these recommendations.

“Canada’s skills shortage is a direct result of widespread fragmentation of both programs and information,” said Anthony Ariganello, President and CEO of CGA-Canada. “Changing workplace demographics and the current economic environment have put increased demands on the supply of skilled workers. Clearly, Canada must work towards refining the delivery mechanisms for bridging and training programs as well as improved labour mobility and better information networks.”