Saturday, 24 April 2010

Demograhic changes means trouble for Canada

At a recent political event in Montreal, Rick Miner, the former president of Seneca College, served up some painful truths ... "Canada has two major trends emerging," he said. "First, an ageing population. And second, the movement from a labour to a knowledge economy."

Over the next several years, the great population bulge (the 'Baby Boomers') will pass retirement age and even if, as seems likely, they stay on longer than workers in the past, the labour force will lose a huge number of bodies. At the same time, the demand for skilled and adaptable labour will continue to rise rapidly, and projections show Canada's education and training systems won't keep up.
Combine those two massive forces and we are likely to find ourselves in a uniquely awful situation: High unemployment rates and severe labour shortages at the same time.

There's still time to avoid a future in which there are "millions of people without jobs and millions of jobs without people," Miner said. But it's dwindling rapidly. A big push on education and training is needed right away.

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