Related News: "Innovation and Competitiveness"

With budget balanced, it’s time to focus on Canada’s economic future, business leaders say

Having fulfilled its commitment to balance the budget, the government’s top priority should be a pro-growth agenda that ensures Canada’s continued success in a volatile and challenging global economy, the Canadian Council of Chief Executives said today.

“The recent fall in oil prices is just one example of the risks facing Canada’s economy,” said The Honourable John Manley, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives.

“Balanced budgets give governments the ability to respond in the event of unexpected shocks. But eliminating red ink is not enough to ensure Canada’s long-term prosperity. The next step is to implement a comprehensive strategy for economic growth, increased business investment and job creation.”

The CEO Council is the senior voice of Canada’s business community, representing 150 chief executives and leading entrepreneurs in all sectors and regions of the country.

Mr. Manley highlighted three key elements of an agenda for long-term prosperity:

A tax system that rewards growth.  Canada’s current tax system is overly complex and imposes high compliance costs on companies and individuals. As Canadian tax expert Jack Mintz has pointed out, it also encourages firms to stay small. A smarter approach would be to reward companies that expand, … Read more »

Innovation and technology will increase return on investment with workplace training, report shows

Canadian companies must act to take greater advantage of new technologies to deliver better workplace education and training, and to drive competitiveness and productivity, according to a new report by Accenture in collaboration with the Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE).

Increasing the Return on Talent Development for Canadian Companies was developed as part of a multi-year CCCE initiative on jobs and skills for the 21st century which, in part, encourages Canadian employers to prioritize workplace learning and development to drive competitiveness.

“This report is a call to action for Canadian companies to strive for better outcomes when training employees, and underscores the critical importance of spending training dollars wisely,” said Danielle Francis, Human Capital lead for Financial Services at Accenture in Canada.

The report calls on more employers to consider the advantages of innovative “smart learning systems” that provide access to knowledge, anytime and anywhere. Often, these methods are more effective than classroom-based training while also costing less on a per-employee basis.

The report found that Canadian firms are at different levels of maturity when it comes to talent development capabilities. Some companies rely on traditional and relatively costly classroom-based instruction, while others are deploying advanced learning strategies that … Read more »

Canadian employers launch national initiative on workplace learning and development

Canadian employers need to prioritize workplace learning and development to ensure their competitiveness in the rapidly changing global economy, a group of prominent Canadian business leaders said today.

At a conference in Ottawa titled “Creating Opportunities: Jobs and Skills for the 21st Century”, the business leaders said they hope to foster a national conversation about the importance of employer-sponsored skills development.

“Canadian employers as a group can and should do more to ensure that Canadians have the education and skills needed to find and keep good jobs now and in the future,” said Elyse Allan, President and Chief Executive Officer of GE Canada, who is spearheading the initiative on behalf of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives.

“Investing in workplace learning benefits individuals and organizations alike. Employees gain job satisfaction, security, and better pay. For employers, training represents a valuable recruitment and retention tool and a driver of competitiveness and innovation.”

A recent Conference Board of Canada study suggested that, on average, Canadian employers spend roughly two-thirds as much as their U.S. counterparts on employee training and education.

The Conference Board based that conclusion on data from 115 organizations across the country. Roughly half were government departments, Crown corporations, … Read more »

Business leaders and post-secondary presidents launch Business/Higher Education Roundtable to improve school-to-work transitions

In a move aimed at strengthening cooperation between employers and educators, a group representing some of Canada’s largest companies and post-secondary institutions today announced the creation of the Canadian Business/Higher Education Roundtable.

Composed of 27 leaders from the private sector, universities, colleges and polytechnics, the Roundtable will focus its efforts on helping young Canadians transition from education to the workplace. An equal priority will be to seek greater synergies between research and teaching on campuses and the needs of Canadian employers as they adapt to the economy of the future.

“Canada is one of the few industrialized countries that do not have a national forum for dialogue between large employers and post-secondary institutions,” said Tom Jenkins, one of 13 business leaders who are founding members of the Roundtable. “The creation of this Roundtable marks a significant step forward. It will provide a common space for collaboration, networking and the exchange of good practices that will benefit all Canadians.”

The Roundtable will have three co-chairs: Mr. Jenkins, who is Chair of OpenText Corporation; Arvind Gupta, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of British Columbia; and Anne Sado, President of George Brown College and Chair of Polytechnics Canada.

His Excellency the Right … Read more »

Abacus survey wordcloud Young Canadians are more optimistic than pessimistic about the job market, survey finds

Most think their generation will live as well or better than their parents’ generation

Young Canadians are significantly more optimistic than pessimistic about the job market and, by a two-to-one margin, believe their generation will enjoy a standard of living higher than that of their parents, according to a new Abacus Data survey of Canadians aged 18 to 35.

Close to half (45%) of young Canadians say they are optimistic about the job market for people such as themselves, compared with 20% who are pessimistic. However, opinions on the job market itself are mixed. Asked to describe employment opportunities for people like them who may be looking for work in the area where they live, 48% said they were excellent or good, while 51% said the situation is poor or very poor. Those living in the Prairies and Quebec were more positive about the job market than those in BC, Ontario or Atlantic Canada.

Respondents aged 18 to 24 were somewhat more optimistic about the job market than those aged 25 to 35. Among those currently pursuing post-secondary education, respondents studying in information technology, health, business and engineering/science fields were more optimistic than those in arts or social science programs … Read more »

Media advisory: Business leaders convene conference on jobs and skills in Ottawa

The Canadian Council of Chief Executives will host “Creating Opportunities: Jobs & Skills for the 21st Century”, a conference bringing together business leaders, government officials, educators and young people from across the country, on April 13, 2015, at the Shaw Centre in Ottawa. The conference will explore ways of improving education and training to ensure a brighter future for young Canadians.

Speakers will include:

  • Elyse Allan, President and Chief Executive Officer, GE Canada
  • James Bessen, author of Learning by Doing: The Real Connection between Innovation, Wages and Wealth
  • David Coletto, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Abacus Data
  • William A. Downe, Chief Executive Officer, BMO Financial Group
  • Brian Ferguson, President and Chief Executive Officer, Cenovus Energy
  • His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada
  • Trish Hennessy, Director, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Sebastian Thrun, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Udacity, and Founder, Google X.
  • Stephen Toope, Director, Munk School of Global Affairs
  • Anne Sado, President, George Brown College

The conference agenda is available here. Attendance is by invitation only but most sessions will be available via live webcast.

Over the past 18 months the CEO Council has commissioned a series of papers and essays … Read more »

Competency frameworks could be the answer to skill mismatches in Canada, report says

A pan-Canadian system of evaluating and certifying competence would help ensure workers have the skills needed to do their jobs well and make the country a stronger international competitor, a report concludes.

The report, Competence is the Best Credential, advocates for the adoption of a competency certification system similar to those widely used in Europe, some regions of the United States, and other countries around the world.

Taking into account both theoretical knowledge and practical experience, competency frameworks set out clearly the skills, knowledge and attributes workers need to perform specific jobs. The report notes that while some institutions and industry associations have begun to develop their own competency frameworks, overall “Canada lags behind.”

“Canadian stakeholders can benefit from the experience of other countries,” the report states. “By learning what works, and knowing what practices to avoid, a Canadian system could be the answer to our widely reported skills mismatches.”

The report was the result of collaboration between the Canada West Foundation and the Canadian Council of Chief Executives.

“We have more certificates, diplomas and degrees than ever before, and still have huge skill mismatches in our labour market,” says Janet Lane, Director of the Foundation’s Centre for Human … Read more »

Students at graduation Give students better tools to make informed decisions about their career paths, report urges

Parents, educators, governments and employers are doing a poor job of informing young Canadians about their job and career prospects, leaving many graduates with unrealistic expectations, a leading policy expert says.

“The mantra of our time appears to be, ‘You can be anything you want to be’ – a demonstrably false statement,” says Ken Coates, a professor at the University of Saskatchewan’s Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy.

Coates says young Canadians often lack – or fail to seek out – accurate information about the country’s workforce needs. This makes it difficult for them to make intelligent, informed decisions.

“In the tradition of Garrison Keillor’s fictional town Lake Wobegon, where ‘all the children are above average’, young Canadians have been conditioned to expect better-than-average outcomes in life, especially when it comes to careers and income,” Coates writes in a paper titled “Career ready: towards a national strategy for the mobilization of Canadian potential”.

He adds that there is a “fundamental disconnect” between the desire of most Canadian parents to give their sons and daughters a university education and the hard reality that many people are not cut out for university.

“Young adults and families should lessen … Read more »

Business leaders welcome Canada-U.S. customs preclearance agreement

Statement by The Honourable John Manley, President and CEO of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, on today’s announcement of a new Canada-U.S. customs preclearance agreement:

“For many years, travellers passing through major airports across Canada have benefitted from the ability to clear U.S. customs before leaving Canada for their destination. Today’s agreement ensures not only that these customs preclearance facilities will be funded for years to come, but also that additional preclearance facilities will be opened for air, rail and marine passengers. By negotiating a comprehensive preclearance agreement, the governments of Canada and the United States have taken a significant step toward ensuring that cross-border travel is more secure and efficient. This agreement will facilitate travel and enhance cross-border commercial ties. It demonstrates once again that the Canada-U.S. Beyond the Border Action Plan is achieving results that strengthen our economies and protect jobs on both sides of the border.”

Founded in 1976, the CCCE is the senior voice of Canada’s business community, representing 150 chief executives and leading entrepreneurs in all sectors and regions of the country. Its member companies collectively employ 1.5 million Canadians and are responsible for most of Canada’s private sector investments, exports, workplace training … Read more »

Large firms contribute more money to governments in taxes and other payments than they earn in profits, survey shows

A survey of 80 leading Canadian enterprises shows that they collectively contribute more money to governments in taxes and other payments than they earn in after-tax profit.

The survey found that for every $100 generated by the companies, $40 went to Canadian governments at the federal, provincial and municipal levels. That includes corporate taxes, property taxes, payroll taxes, non-refundable taxes on business inputs and other costs borne by the companies themselves, as well as employment and consumer taxes they collect on behalf of governments.

In comparison, $32 out of every $100 is earned as after-tax profit and either retained for reinvestment in the business or distributed to shareholders. After-tax wages and salaries paid to employees account for the remaining $28.

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) conducted the survey in partnership with the Canadian Council of Chief Executives. Eighty leading Canadian enterprises, all members of the CEO Council, took part. The participants included banks, insurance firms, retailers, telecommunications providers, energy companies and mining companies.

“The survey underscores the importance of Canada’s leading businesses as generators of government revenue,” said The Honourable John Manley, President and Chief Executive Officer of the CEO Council. “The contributions of these firms to public finances are significant, improving the … Read more »

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