Issue

Alberta is a prosperous province, with a strong entrepreneurial spirit, and a skilled and energetic workforce. Albertans - like many Canadians - are struggling with transitions between learning and work, which is resulting in social and economic implications. If Alberta is to remain competitive with the rest of Canada, it must adapt to and address the coming labour market disruptions.

Background

Skills gaps can be costly. A 2016 study estimated that unmet skills needs are costing British Columbia up to $7.9 billion in foregone GDP and over $1.8 billion in tax revenues each year (Kachulis and McKean, 2018). While Alberta’s economic outlook is favorable with a low unemployment rate and projected continued economic growth, meeting the demand for skilled workers in the province is essential for ensuring long-term prosperity. Data shows that as of 2019, there were 52,890 (or 2.6%) vacant jobs in Alberta – a figure that does not approach pre-recession levels, but is on an upward trend (Statistics Canada, 2018). Projections developed by the Centre for Spatial Economics confirm, Alberta’s labour shortage is likely to grow to about 49,000 by 2025, with in-demand occupations requiring a variety of skill types and levels (Government of Alberta, 2015).

Our Recommendations

  1. Through incentives and initiatives, encourage employers to invest more and become more involved in providing training opportunities to their current staff;
  2.  Promote increased and diversified enrollment in post-secondary tech education programs in Alberta by providing subsidies for micro-credential training;
  3. Develop and invest in the essential skills of tomorrow, such as sustained support and investments in STEM education and trades training both within post-secondary and also through career transition programming;
  4.  Position the delivery of career development services to ensure a seamless, coordinated system that provides effective transition within the high school system and the workplace, for all Albertans;
  5. Partner with interested stakeholders to create career development and market information resources and training for target audience; and
  6. Continue to track outcomes associated with these programs and initiatives in a transparent manner to allow for continual adjustments when necessary.
Download The Policy Brief
Topic
Year

2019

Contact

If you have any questions, contact Jason Leslie at jleslie@abchamber.ca or (780) 425-4180 ext. 4.