BOGGS: Is Ontario facing a shortage of skills, or lack of investment?

Jeffrey Boggs, an associate professor in the Department of Geography and Tourism Studies at Brock, recently wrote a piece published in the Globe and Mail questioning whether the reported skills shortage in Ontario is in fact a lack of investment by employers to provide training in firm-specific skills.

Boggs writes:

Apparently Ontario’s labour market has a problem. Plebians, pundits and politicians say employers face a cataclysmic skills mismatch, or sometimes a skills gap. Or applicants are overeducated, or underadapted, or overcredentialed.

Positions are reputedly going unfilled because employers have trouble finding workers with the right hard skills, soft skills, IT skills, STEM skills, writing skills or presentation skills, not to mention traits such as punctuality, discipline or a can-do attitude. 

We know these problems exist because reports say so. Mind you, these reports are often written by consultants hired by employers, industry associations or chambers of commerce.

A common prescription for this purported ailment is to make the higher-education sector produce workers who are better suited to today’s work force.

Continue reading the full article here.

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