21 June 2011

Jobs, employment, innovation: more on supply and demand

The Globe and Mail has been running some  articles on the job market and employment, notably this week on youth employment. Today's installment is a good piece on the (future) fit into the job market for those emerging from school. Notable is the focus on skills for employment - skills that area transferable in any market. We've often referred to these as innovation literacy, a skill set that represents capacity for innovation and entrepreneurship.

Innovation and the innovation economy are key drivers of employment, and the Globe's series on manufacturing (Remade in Canada) portrays industries seeking to remake themselves to better fit with the evolving needs of global markets, and, importantly, what this means for employment writ large across the country. Saturday's installment is of particular note as it refers to the role Canada's colleges play in promoting applied research in industries like the textile industry, as well as in preparing workers for new roles in evolving industries. This is the impetus for us to teach innovation literacy, and to foster broadly innovation and entrepreneurship skills across all programs in the entire post secondary education sector.

As I noted earlier, there can be a disconnect in what employers want and what they need, and linking the supply of talent to industry demand is an issue of central importance for all of us. Statistics Canada's new plan to provide data on labour market supply and demand is welcome news in this regard. Focusing our efforts in education on  providing the skills our graduates need is a laudable goal that will help Canada remake itself for the global innovation economy. Innovation literacy is one way to promote a plasticity of being able to learn new skills for new jobs, now and future forward.

No comments: