Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Canada’s skills gap continues to widen

The concerns of skill shortage still loom large in Canada.

According to the findings of the study conducted by Hays PLC, a global recruiting firm, Canada ranks ninth in the developed world for the shortage of skilled workers, a drop from the scores posted last year.
Japan, the United States, Germany and Sweden are other countries that face the problem of skilled worker shortage, the report highlighted.
With no changes in the immigration polices and the aging Canadian work force, the situation in Canada is sure to get worse, Hays chief executive Alistair Cox, said.
“Sadly … there is a lot of friction in the system, which will make [the jobs mismatch] worse as the economy improves,” Mr. Cox said. “Jobs are being created, but we simply don’t have enough skills in the right place at the right time.”
“Canada is starting to show some worrying trends that there is a gap between the skills available versus what industries are looking for,” he said.
While on one hand the educational institutions have failed to produce to right skilled workers to address the country’s future job requirement, on the other hand immigration rules are also being “tuned to mass and unskilled migration issues, as opposed to highly skilled migration,” Mr. Cox said.
Cox recommended a more flexible immigration system as an answer to the problem. He said that countries should effectively differentiate between highly skilled workers, and lower- and middle-level skills.
He further added that countries should tend to work with business to develop targets. “[Immigration policy] has to be designed and developed by government in conjunction with what business wants. That link-age [needs to be] an absolutely iron bond,” he said.
Cox appreciated Australia’s flexible points system that encouraged immigration targeted to specific professional job sectors. However, the country has recently tightened immigration rules, he pointed.
Immigration Canada making changes
While it’s not official, but Canada is working on some changes in its immigration system that are expected to come into effect from late 2014.
The new system will be called the Expression of Interest (EOI). The process will require to person seeking immigration to file in a simplified application.
From that pool of applications, the most promising candidates, based on the immigration department’s selection criteria, will be short listed.
These short-listed candidates will then be invited to submit a full application, including documentation to prove their claimed qualifications.
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