Chief Executives Urge Canada to Improve Education, Skills Training


A recent paper published by the Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE) urges Ottawa to put a stop to the "alarming slide" in the quality of education and skills training being produced in Canada.

According to the paper, "Canada is slipping steadily down the international learning curve."

"The report we are publishing this week recommends a formal federal-provincial body to oversee learning and training in Canada," CCCE spokesman Ross Laver said in an email. "Not everyone would go that far, but there's no question we need a lot more co-operation and collaboration between different levels of government."

The report suggests the need for more programs and training for the employees of the private sector. The hope is to create a situation closer to Germany, where employers and educators work with the government to create a highly skilled workforce.

"The German system ensures close co-ordination and co-operation between levels of government and with social partners," the report says.

"The close involvement of employers and employees at the national and state level promotes a powerful sense of responsibility among corporations that is reflected in their commitment to skills upgrading in the workplace."

Employment Minister Jason Kenney holds Germany's apprenticeship system in the highest regards and even led a group of politicians, business and labor union representatives on a trip there earlier this year to learn about their programs.

According to an article published by the Canadian Press, a program is needed for learning and training that has targets set for all phases of learning. A separate body should be formed in order to help keep the country on track with meeting its learning goals.

Last year, an Economic Action Plan was proposed in Canada to help meet the goal of training people in the skills necessary to find these types of jobs. The plan allows individuals to obtain the skills necessary to find employment by creating the Canada Job Grant, which has the potential to provide $15,000 per person. This will be introduced as part of the Labour Market Agreements in 2014-2015.

The plan also created numerous federal apprentice programs to support not only apprentices, but also the employers. Various other programs have been created to support Canadians, such as skills training and continuing education.

The paper was released prior to this week's Charlottetown meeting between Canada's education and labor ministers and industry representatives. This will be the first meeting between the ministers in four years, having only met once before to discuss a job grant proposal.

CCCE spokesman Laver said of the subject in an email:

"How can Canada hope to maintain a world-class labour force when the people who are in charge of developing education and training policy won't talk to one another?"

07 14, 2014
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