08 March 2013

Fixing the brain drain requires the right skills

Polytechnics Canada CEO Nobina Robinson has an op-ed in the Globe and Mail that outlines important issues for the Canadian economy. In Business must share responsibility for shortage of skilled workers, Robinson provides a fresh perspective on the "brain drain" and what key steps Canada needs to take to solve our looking skills shortage. The piece follows on the Globe front page story on the government's intent to do something about apprenticeship and the skills issues we are grappling with - issues that have deep impacts on the economy. I was especially interested to read about the comparison to the German model. There are some interesting links to labour market preparation, economic productivity, and innovation that emerge from the German system of linking education to the world of work, and linking applied research to the needs of industry.

There are two fronts here:
1. The apprenticeship issue, and the relationship to the skills gap/mismatch in the economy; and
2. The general need to encourage the development of innovation skills, with a commensurate focus on outcomes based education, where this is applicable.

As I said earlier, innovation is where the puck is; skills are where the puck is going.


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