Related News: "Innovation and Competitiveness"

Dramatic expansion of Canada’s apprenticeship system would help more young people find rewarding careers, report says

Governments, educators and employers should work together to sharply increase both the number and range of apprenticeships for young Canadians, a new report recommends.

The report, published by the Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE), says that apprenticeship should be viewed not just as a route to a job in the skilled trades, but as a mainstream option for young people and a common recruitment strategy for firms in a wide range of industries and sectors.

A large-scale expansion in the availability of apprenticeships, the study says, would:

  • provide young people with more pathways to rewarding careers, potentially reducing youth unemployment;
  • better align worker skills with employer needs;
  • increase career opportunities for those who learn best by doing rather than through classroom study;
  • raise income levels for workers in middle-skill occupations; and
  • relieve some of the pressure on governments to increase spending on colleges and universities.

The report – Expanding apprenticeship training in Canada: perspectives from international experience – assesses the scale and composition of Canada’s apprenticeship system and offers recommendations based on the experiences of countries such as Germany, Switzerland, Australia and the United Kingdom.

Its author is Dr. Robert Lerman, a professor of economics at American University … Read more »

Date April 7, 2014 Related Issues

Large companies pay more than 50 different kinds of taxes, study says

Major Canadian companies are subject to more than 50 different kinds of taxes and, on average, pay 33.4 per cent of their profits to various levels of government, a new report shows.

The report found that for every $1 they pay in federal and provincial corporate income tax, large companies typically incur an additional 94 cents in other business taxes – including payroll taxes, property taxes and unrecoverable sales taxes on business inputs.

PwC Canada prepared the report based on a study of 63 leading Canadian companies. The participants included banks, insurance firms, retailers, telecommunications providers, energy companies and mining companies. Of the 63 companies, 39 are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and 24 are Canadian-owned private businesses, partnerships or income trusts.

Altogether, the 63 companies that participated in the study contributed $40.6 billion to Canadian public finances in 2012. 

In addition, they provided employment to 759,276 people, who earned an average income of $64,781.

The study was commissioned by the Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE), which represents 150 leading companies in all sectors and regions of the country.

“As taxpayers and as employers, large companies contribute disproportionately to the Canadian economy,” said The Honourable John Manley, President … Read more »

CCCE welcomes action plan to resolve Port Metro Vancouver dispute

The Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE) welcomes today’s move by the federal and B.C. governments to resolve the two-week work stoppage at Port Metro Vancouver and return the port to full operation.

“Canada’s major ports are vital engines of the national economy,” said The Honourable John Manley, President and CEO of the CCCE.  “Today’s announcement of a 14-point action plan to resolve the strike by container truck drivers represents a solid step forward. It is essential that all sides now come together to restore normal activities at the port and limit the economic impact on businesses and workers across the country.”

The plan to resolve the dispute was unveiled by The Honourable Lisa Raitt, federal Minister of Transport, The Honourable Todd Stone, British Columbia’s Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, and Robin Silvester, President and Chief Executive Officer of Port Metro Vancouver.  Alongside measures to ensure that truck drivers receive fair compensation, the plan is intended to create a more stable trucking industry and reduce truck wait times at container terminals.  The plan is based on recommendations by federally appointed advisor Vince Ready.

The CCCE is the senior voice of Canada’s business community, representing chief executives and leading entrepreneurs in … Read more »

Skills shortages pose a risk to business investment plans, survey suggests

More than a quarter of large Canadian companies say that skills shortages are having a major impact on their investment plans, according to a survey report released today.

The Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE), which represents 150 leading employers across Canada, conducted the survey in October and November of 2013. Two-thirds of the CCCE’s member companies participated in the study.

“For many companies, [skill] shortages have become a key corporate risk,” the CCCE said in an analysis of the survey results.

The survey was conducted as part of a CCCE initiative called Taking Action for Canada: Jobs and Skills for the 21st Century. Find the report on the survey’s findings here.

The Canadian Council of Chief Executives is the senior voice of Canada’s business community, representing 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 and research and development.… Read more »

Seoul Business leaders applaud first trade agreement in Asia

Canada’s business leaders welcome today’s announcement by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and South Korean President Park Geun-hye that their governments have reached an agreement to liberalize two-way trade and investment.The deal represents an important new chapter in Canada’s trade strategy and marks Canada’s first economic partnership in the Asia-Pacific region.

“This agreement is a major step towards ensuring that Canada is positioned to benefit from Asia’s growing economic importance,” said The Honourable John Manley, President and CEO of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives. “After nearly 10 years of negotiations, Canada has secured an ambitious, high-quality agreement that will benefit consumers and businesses across the country.”

By 2050, Asia’s share of world GDP is projected to exceed 50 per cent. The growing economic importance of Korea and its neighbours is creating enormous opportunities for Canadian companies and workers. The Canada-Korea trade agreement will help to establish a platform for Canadian companies that are seeking to sell goods and services to Asia’s expanding base of middle class consumers. 

South Korea is the fifth largest economy in Asia and Canada’s third-largest trading partner in the region.  South Korean GDP has nearly tripled over the past 20 years, transforming the country from one

Read more »

Canada-India relationship showing progress but more must be done, CCCE says

The Canada-India economic relationship continues to gain strength but more needs to be done to overcome trade and investment barriers between the two countries, Canadian business leaders say.

To address these challenges and ensure that the partnership lives up to its potential, the Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE) urges both governments to redouble their efforts to conclude a broad and ambitious bilateral free trade agreement.

In 2010, Canada and India launched negotiations toward a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA).  The goal of the talks is to boost two-way trade and investment, create jobs and contribute to economic growth in both countries. 

Between 2012 and 2013, merchandise trade between India and Canada grew by 12 per cent to $5.8 billion. India is now Canada’s 11th largest export market and 18th largest source of imports. However, the two countries are still a long way from achieving the target set in 2009 by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his Indian counterpart, Dr. Manmohan Singh —  expanding annual bilateral merchandise trade to $15 billion by 2015.

The modest rate of progress can be attributed to the existence of a wide range of commercial barriers, including:

  • India’s complex regulatory framework for imports of agricultural
  • Read more »

Parliament of Canada Federal budget charts a clear course to balance, CCCE says

The 2014 federal budget presents a plan for returning Canada to a select group of nations with balanced budgets by 2015.

“Balancing the federal budget and maintaining discipline to pay down the debt are not only the right things to do, they are essential for Canada’s global competitiveness,” said The Honourable John Manley, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE).

He added that the CCCE is also looking to provincial governments for their balanced budget plans. “At a time when the economy is growing, it is essential for all levels of government to prepare for any future downturns,” Mr. Manley said.

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.

Mr. Manley also highlighted the opportunity for the federal government to identify long-term strategic priorities that deserve discussion in the run-up to next year’s election. These priorities were outlined in a pre-budget letter to the Minister of Finance.

“A top priority – one that will require Ottawa to work closely with the provinces and territories – is a national labour market strategy that will help equip young people … Read more »

Flag of Mexico Lift visa requirements for Mexican travellers, business leaders say

The Government of Canada should establish a clear timetable to eliminate the onerous visa requirement for travellers from Mexico, says The Honourable John Manley, President and CEO of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE).
 
As a first step, Canada could begin by announcing that it will waive the requirement for Mexicans who already hold valid U.S. visas, Mr. Manley said.
 
Canada imposed the visa requirement on Mexican travellers in 2009 to deter bogus refugee claimants. Since then, Ottawa has tightened Canada’s refugee rules, dramatically reducing the number of false asylum claims. The visa requirement , however, remains in place, creating a significant hurdle for Mexican tourists and business visitors.
 
Mr. Manley was commenting in advance of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s planned meeting next week with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and U.S. President Barack Obama in Toluca, Mexico. It will be the first trilateral continental summit since President Peña Nieto assumed office in December 2012.
 
To mark the visit, the CCCE is today publishing a report on the Canada-Mexico relationship by Laura Dawson, a trade policy expert and President of Ottawa-based Dawson Strategic. Titled Canada’s Trade With Mexico: Where we’ve been, where we’re going and why it matters, … Read more »

Performance reviews of teachers would improve K-12 education, report says

Canada’s school boards could significantly improve the quality of classroom instruction by introducing a credible and effective system of teacher evaluation, a new report says.

“All teachers need – and can benefit from – regular assessments and feedback,” says the report, which was written by Sachin Maharaj, a Toronto teacher and education researcher.

Unlike millions of employees in the private and public sectors, Canadian teachers are not subject to regular performance reviews. Ontario, for example, requires its teachers to undergo a limited evaluation only once every five years, while Alberta does not require any evaluation.

When evaluations do occur, they are often based on a simple satisfactory/unsatisfactory rating system following a single, prearranged visit to the classroom by the principal. “Since the visit is scheduled well in advance, teachers often put on a show, one that bears little resemblance to a typical class,” Maharaj says.

In practice, all but a tiny fraction of teachers are rated “satisfactory”. As a result, the system provides essentially no useful information and does nothing to help improve the quality of instruction. Nor does it help teachers to grow as professionals.

“The obvious question is why we would continue doing something that nearly everyone involved … Read more »

Hiring plans of large companies bode well for young job-seekers, CCCE says

A survey of 100 major Canadian companies shows they expect to hire more than 700,000 people over the next five years to fill vacancies, replace retiring workers and meet anticipated growth.

Job opportunities will come in all industries, but particularly in financial services, insurance, telecommunications, energy, mining, construction, transport and retail, the survey indicates.

The Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE), whose members represent 150 leading employers across Canada, conducted the survey in October and November of 2013. Two-thirds of the CCCE’s member companies participated in the survey.

The names of the companies that took part in the study were not disclosed, but respondents include major banks and other financial services providers, retailers, manufacturers, telecommunications companies, energy producers, food processors, transportation firms and real estate developers, among others.

Nearly half of the 100 companies said they expect to hire more than 2,000 people each over the next five years. Fourteen companies anticipate filling more than 10,000 positions each.

“These results appear positive for recent graduates and other young Canadians who are preparing to enter the labour force,” the CCCE said in a preliminary report on the survey’s findings. “Overall, they suggest that Canada’s largest companies anticipate a rising need for … Read more »

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