Report on the CGA-Canada Summit on Skills and Learning Organized by the Public Policy Forum

Report on the CGA-Canada Summit on Skills and Learning Organized by the Public Policy Forum

by NationTalk on August 19, 20081083 Views

Getting on the Same Page:
Report on the CGA-Canada Summit on Skills and Learning Organized by the Public Policy Forum

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

At a time of rapid change and competitive challenges, one of the most essential tools for ensuring Canada’s future prosperity is education, specifically, skills training and learning. Nevertheless, this area suffers from chronic fragmentation and a dearth of national vision.Furthermore, the distinct economies in every province dictate that there are very different priorities across the country and different criteria for effective delivery of skills training.These are just two of the conclusions resulting from the execution of eight roundtables across Canada that pulled together a cross-section of participants from government, business, labour, colleges and universities, Aboriginal and immigrant communities, and youth.

Candid discussion at these sessions focused generally on the subjects of skills shortages, labour mobility, workplace training, retention of older workers, the engagement of Aboriginals and immigrants, and the challenges of managing intergenerational change.

The results of this extensive consultation were aggregated in a report entitled “Towards National Priorities in Skills and Learning” (This report is available online and can be downloaded from the “2008 Events” section of our website: www.ppforum.ca). This report was further distilled to create the agenda for a national summit on the issue that was held in Ottawa on May 28.

The group that assembled for the summit focused on three key themes:
• Changing workplace demographics and managerial capacity;
• Refining the delivery mechanisms for bridging and training programs; and
• Improving labour mobility and information networks.

Each working group was asked to develop a series of national recommendations based on the discussions they had along the above mentioned thematic lines. These included:

1. Encouraging apprenticeship programs and training among small and medium-sized enterprises by enhancing their awareness of existing programs and resources.

2. Developing and tracking – bridging strategies and best practices that help immigrants and their families better integrate into the workforce and disperse across Canadian society at large, rather than clustering in urban centres.

3. Refine the recruitment process so that Canada’s medium-to-long term employment needs – and the skills of immigrants – are better matched.

4. Offer enhanced incentives to employers who offer jobs to skilled immigrants, recognizing the additional costs of incremental training and attrition as workers move to other countries.

5. Work with professional associations to improve inter-provincial labour mobility through agreements that mutually recognize credentials.

6. Improved workforce information sharing among various levels of government, including the creation of a national, on-demand database that would be made available to educational institutions, and public and private sector employers.

7. Make it easier for international students to obtain permanent residency in Canada.

8. Review and address access to childcare programs particularly those that allow Aboriginal and immigrant women to acquire skills training and jobs.

9. Directly confront the issue of latent racism and cultural obstacles in the education system and in the workplace.

10. Consider a national credit transfer system to address the issue of academic mobility and to encourage life long adult learning with a highly mobile population.

11. Create incentives and adapt pension eligibility rules to encourage retirement-aged workers to remain in the workforce longer, even on a flexible o part-time basis.

12. Encourage the establishment of Generation Y networks and other measures to ease intergenerational transitions in the workplace.

Download Getting on the Same Page: Report on the CGA-Canada Summit on Skills and Learning Organized by the Public Policy Forum

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