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Crafting the future: Securing a skilled talent pool to build Canada's future needs

Canada's economic future hinges on cultivating a skilled and adaptable workforce to meet evolving market demands. The challenge is clear: industries across the nation are experiencing a critical shortage of skilled tradespeople and apprentices. With over 122,000 new journeypersons needed by 2026 and declining apprenticeship registrations, it’s crucial for Canada to invest in developing its talent pool.

The pandemic has accelerated the need for reskilling and upskilling. Many companies recognize that traditional education alone isn’t enough to keep pace with rapid technological changes. Instead, there’s a growing emphasis on lifelong learning and real-time skill acquisition. According to a Deloitte report, 74% of organizations consider reskilling crucial, yet only 16% are prepared to make significant investments in this area over the next three years.

Efforts are being made to address these gaps. Programs like Canada’s Apprenticeship Service are incentivizing small and medium-sized businesses to hire apprentices by offering grants, especially targeting underrepresented groups. Initiatives such as the Champions4Change program aim to increase female representation in trades, with a goal to boost participation from 5% to 15% by 2030.

Moreover, the integration of advanced technologies in workplace training, like interactive apps for skills monitoring and mentorship, is helping apprentices gain essential skills. These efforts are supported by organizations like the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum and BuildForce, which provide vital resources and tools for both employers and apprentices.

To build a future-ready workforce, Canada must continue to promote a culture of continuous learning, focusing not only on technical skills but also on essential human capabilities like critical thinking, adaptability, and resilience. By doing so, Canada can ensure its workforce is prepared to meet the challenges and opportunities of tomorrow’s economy​.

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