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Young Canadians heading into workforce would benefit from ‘soft skills’

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By Sevaun Palvetzian

If recent changes in Canada’s labour market say anything, it’s that technology is driving a major skills shift across the country.

For example, when GM announced the closure of its Oshawa plant, it pointed to 700 new jobs it would add to its Markham technology centre. Even just this past week, Amazon announced plans to create 600 new technology jobs in Toronto. Jobs and opportunities are being created, but is our workforce ready to fill them?

Future of work research indicates that regions that close skills gaps most efficiently will be the most competitive and successful. But Canada and its cities are already seeing challenges. In August 2018, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business reported that approximately 400,000 jobs across sectors went unfilled for at least four months in Canada because employers had not found suitable candidates.

The future is also unclear. Research predicts that up to 50 per cent of occupations will undergo a skills revolution due to automation. A recent study by the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario also shows that a large number of students did not achieve adequate scores to succeed in today’s job market. Find out more about what we can do to take action and ensure our skills gap doesn’t become a skills cliff. 


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