Shortages in the skilled trades are a genuine concern. With a national strategic skilled trades plan, we could better predict where and when these shortfalls will occur and how labour mobility from across the country can serve to mitigate shortages. A study on how labour mobility strategies can be explored, as well as attracting and retaining more women, indigenous people, youth and new Canadians to a career path in the skilled trades, is needed. The current government has done a great job investing in the skilled trades. Now is the time for the next step, and that is for a national strategy.Mark CherneyIBEW Local 303 and President of the Niagara and Haldimand Building Trades Council
The Seafarers’ International Union of Canada (SIU) applauds MP Vance Badawey’s announcement to undertake a study to develop a Federal Trades Strategy. Maritime transportation and Canadian seafarers play a vital role in supporting the Canadian economy. We welcome any initiative to assist Canadian and permanent resident workers who are looking to enter this growing industry.Jim GivenPresident of the Seafarers International Union of Canada
While we’ve developed our training programs over generations of skills development and industry advancements in partnership with engineering advancement and design modernization; and, there’s no doubt that the current trends in innovation and energy efficiency will be adapted the same way we’ve seen with the advancements of the past; unfortunately, we have not put the necessary effort into our recruitment practices. We have never seen the shortage concerns before that we’re seeing today. We have seen periods where the need and demand looked to raise, but we were able to meet those challenges. We’ve never taken the time to address change, now we are. We are rapidly modernizing and expanding our hiring practices, outreach and inclusion efforts, while being cognizant of the jobs for tomorrow – how the changing needs of Canada’s economy will result in very different infrastructure being built tomorrow from what we have traditionally seen. It is absolutely crucial that the Government of Canada instruct the appropriate body and include the appropriate stakeholders to undertake a study of the creation of a federal trades strategy to ensure Canada remains both nationally and globally competitive, well prepared for the future, while utilizing all resources available.Arlene DunnDirector of Canada’s Building Trades Unions (CBTU)
Workers need to retool and upgrade their skills in order to succeed in Canada’s rapidly changing labour market. But far too often, they’re not getting the support they need. Today, Canada’s public spending on training is about half the OECD average, and in real terms, employers invest less in per-employee training and adult learning than they did 25 years ago. Too many employers simply don’t invest in on-the-job training and vocational education for workers, and it’s holding us back. Employers need a new generation of skilled workers to replace retiring baby-boomers, and workers need access to skills training and upgrading to cope with technological change and the impact of climate change policies. We can overcome skill shortages, but we need to listen to stakeholders and learn what works in other jurisdictions.Hassan YussuffPresident of the Canadian Labour Congress
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