Canada Should Look To Germany To Fix Skills Gap, Says Report

A Maclean’s annual jobs report is suggesting Canada’s labour market has a serious problem.

It explores the German model of training people as young as 16 to work in advanced manufacturing jobs, and it appears BC’s premier is also in favour of training high school students in those skills.

We do not offer universal trades training like they do in Europe, and Christy Clark thinks maybe it’s time we should.

“I think if we offered them access to skills training while they’re still in high school — at Grade 10, 11 and 12 — it might mean they stay in school and they graduate. We need to really examine the kinds of education that we’re providing and make sure we’re delivering it.”

“[We need to be] providing people with the opportunities they need to be first in line for those jobs. We don’t offer trades trading universally at a strong level at every school across the province. We should; that should be available to young people.”

But Maclean’s author Chris Sorensen says it would require companies to partner with government, which is easier said than done.

“A lot of companies in North America are kind of wary about being too involved with governments; they don’t like a lot of regulation, they don’t like governments having much say in how they train their workers. In Germany, the government standardizes a lot of this,” he explains.

However, Sorensen notes “there probably is room for companies to invest more in training target… younger people, especially ones that are jobless and maybe not really having the option to go to university.”