Canadian Manufacturing

Canada needs to bridge skills gap now, former federal minister says

John Manley said Canada needs strategy to address country's poor performance on skills, education



TORONTO—Former cabinet minister John Manley says Canada needs to fix the skills gap between workers and employers before the country lags even further behind internationally.

Manley, who is now the head of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, says there needs to be a strategy to address the country’s poor performance on skills and education outcomes.

He says a recent study of the skills needs of 100 of the country’s largest companies found that 57 per cent say a skills shortage was a “moderate” problem, while 11 per cent called it a “big” problem.

Manley was set to elaborate on the comments in a speech to the Canadian Club of Toronto.

For years, the Harper government and industry have complained about labour shortages in specific regions due to a lack of skills.

Ottawa has introduced several measures, including tighter unemployment insurance rules, as part of an effort to force the jobless to go further afield.

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