Employment minister tells skills summit Canada will face gap in trades workers

By on June 26, 2014


Immigration Minister Jason Kenney. Photo courtesy of Kenney's official Facebook page.
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney. Photo courtesy of Kenney’s official Facebook page.

TORONTO — Canada’s employment minister says a shortage of skilled workers will be one of the country’s greatest future economic challenges.

Jason Kenney gave the warning today at a skills summit in Toronto where stakeholders have gathered to discuss the labour market, employee training and those under-represented in the labour force.

Kenney says the construction, mining and petroleum sectors are examples of industries that will face serious shortages of skilled workers over the next decade.

He adds that stakeholders need to de-stigmatize the trades and encourage young workers to enter skilled vocations.

The minister cites countries such as Germany and the United Kingdom as places where apprenticeship programs offer youth better employment options.

The conference comes less than a week after Kenney announced a myriad of changes to the controversial temporary foreign workers program.

The new changes include a limit on the number of foreign workers that large and medium-sized companies are permitted to hire, stiffer penalties for companies found to be violating the new rules and on-site audits and inspections to guard against abuses.