Skills Gaps Cost Us All – Big Time

Skills gap mismatchThe huge hit – in real time costs – “of not obtaining adequate levels of education to find employment in today’s economy”

The Conference Board of Canada looks at the significant costs of skills gaps and mismatches and while based  on Ontario, is certainly applicable here in BC as well. See The Need To Make Skills Work The Cost of Ontario’s Skills Gap  (June 2013).

One more important read that identifies skills and occupational shortages and broaches the long-standing debate of education and training being an investment vs. a cost. It also raises issues as to who should be supporting that training… and how. Private sector investment in training employees has fallen.

Skills gaps cost the Ontario economy up to $24.3 billion in forgone GDP—a result of too many Ontarians not obtaining enough education to find employment in today’s economy. Skills gaps are projected to worsen if action is not taken to address them, and fears about a future of “jobs without people” and “people without jobs” are widespread. However, little has been done to examine the true economic costs of Ontario’s skills gaps and what can be done to prevent a skills crisis. To address a lack of information, the Conference Board undertook  major study of skills gaps in Ontario, including a survey of over 1,500 Ontario employers.

The significance of the need for post-secondary training and certifications is also clear through-out the report.

Being an adult educator who has supported learners in upgrading their grade 12 standing and being concerned about the continued barriers for adults (increasing in BC IMO) to upgrade their skills and training, there are some clear messages here.

In particular for adults who want to upgrade their skills to increase their employability options let alone find an invigorating career?

Make sure that your Math skills are up to snuff, be able to communicate clearly and appropriately and sharpen those digital technology and software skills.

While doing that, research post-secondary options for yourself and make that a part of your own skills gap plan as well!

Finally, get actively involved in advocating for access to upgrading options. Ask the politicos of  all stripes what exactly they are doing and plan to do to address these needs … and keep on asking them.

… and continue to work hard to get there. We will all benefit!

* Image snip from the Conference Board report

Author: Tim Lavery

Aim High Salmon Arm It matters

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