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Skills shortage hinders Ontario’s economy

June 21 2013

Ontario faces skills gaps in many areas of its economy, as employers are unable to find people with the skills they need to sustain and grow their businesses, according the report “The Need to Make Skills Work: The Cost of Ontario's Skills Gap” released today by the Conference Board of Canada. The Conference Board estimates that skills gaps cost the province up to $24.3 billion in foregone GDP and $3.7 billion in provincial tax revenues annually.

According to the report, skills gaps affect sectors of Ontario’s economy that account for almost 40 percent of employment, including: manufacturing; healthcare; professional, scientific, and technical services; and financial industries.

Employers are in greatest need of post-secondary credentials in the subject areas of science, engineering, and technology as well as business and financial professions. Fifty-seven percent need employees with two- or three-year college diplomas, 44 percent need employees with four-year degrees, and 41 percent need employees with trade degrees.

The Conference Board of Canada conducted the online survey of 1,538 Ontario employers from April to May 2013.

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