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Ontario facing critical shortage of skilled workers

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Early this month, a management expert delivered a report that predicted an upcoming skills shortage in Ontario that could leave one million skilled positions unfilled   over the next decade. This prognosis highlights the critical demand for skilled workers in the province that can be helped by welcoming more skilled immigrants to Ontario.

Rick Miner, past president of Seneca College and a former management professor, predicts that Ontario’s economy will be increasingly driven by knowledge- and skill-based jobs. However, the province’s current labour pool will be unable to fulfill those jobs, in part due to a lack of higher education and skilled training among a large proportion of the current labour market.

The coinciding trends of Ontario’s aging population and the growing demands for knowledge workers will create a discrepancy between workers and jobs, Miner predicts. This means that a larger number of companies will be unable to fulfill positions and a larger number of unskilled Ontarians will be unable to find jobs because they do not have the required knowledge.

Ontario has already been seeing a shortage of skilled, knowledgeable workers.

“There has been a real pinch in the supply of experienced people,” said former Provincial Cabinet Minister Murray Elston.

Miner’s report indicated that this pinch will only become worse and that the rest of Canada will be seeing similar labour market challenges.

One of the easiest ways to combat this challenge is to welcome more workers that possess the required knowledge and skills into the province (as well as the rest of Canada), said Canadian immigration lawyer David Cohen.

“Skilled immigrants have the education and experience to fill these positions and drive the economy. Welcoming more professionals will allow Ontario and Canada to address this upcoming problem head-on, almost immediately,” he added.

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