The Canadian Chamber of Commerce says that universities, businesses, and students are aligned in calling on the government to move on a variety of initiatives to ensure business has the talent it needs for fututre growth. PHOTO courtesy Heidenhein.
For Canadian business, what was a tight talent market pre-pandemic has now turned into a crisis, warns the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.
“Job vacancies are at all-time highs, yet graduate students are struggling to make ends meet, international students are waiting months for study permit approvals and undergraduates are searching for meaningful work opportunities to develop skills,” the Chamber says.
Christian Fotang a university student and chair of the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations, says he’s anxious, frustrated, and nervous and he’s about to enter the workforce.
“Anxious because it feels as if I am entering into a workforce that will be limited in opportunities, frustrated because like many of my peers, it feels like we have done everything right, but the doors that were said to would open once we get an education don’t seem to be opening and I am nervous, because as the cost of living continues to rise, and I fear that I may be priced out of an education,” Fotang said.
The Chamber says that universities, businesses, and students are aligned, calling on the government to “prioritize early career research talent, reduce barriers for students to come to Canada, improve support and processing for international students in Canada, strengthen our international competitiveness in scientific research and development and the deployment of new technologies, improve and expand access to high-quality lifelong and work-integrated learning opportunities, and work to ensure more of our talented graduates remain in Canada.”
The Chamber adds the talent crisis is slowing down the country’s economic recovery and impeding growth.
“As the world’s economies recover from the pandemic, the global competition for talent is already escalating. As a result, Canada needs to take the initiative thoughtfully, but aggressively, to attract capable new students. It’s an essential step in bolstering the supply chain for talent,” the Chamber states in a release.
To help encourage the federal government to address this crisis, Universities Canada, the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations, and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce are joining together to launch the Talent for Canada campaign.
“If business drives job creation and growth, people are the engine. To sustain that growth, Canadian businesses need to fill talent needs – they need to fill them yesterday. When I talk with business leaders about what keeps them up at night, finding and retaining the right talent is the most common answer – and this cuts across all sectors of our economy. We have all heard the stories of worker shortages – particularly shortages in skilled work – that are impacting business’ ability to succeed today and grow for tomorrow,” says Perrin Beatty, president and CEO of the Chamber.