13 July 2015

The importance of labour market information

Polytechnics Canada CEO Nobina Robinson was quoted in a recent Globe and Mail article about the importance of labour market information (LMI) and nascent efforts by federal and provincial governments to produce these data for the Canadian economy. Polytechnics Canada has advocated for more effective LMI for the past year+, and the Institutional Research offices of the 11 members have compiled useful data on connecting supply and demand of education and skilled talent for the labour market. Many have been advocating for an independent, arms-length Labour Market Information Council, which is the name chosen for this group, though it is made up of provincial and federal government officials. It is likely that many will take a wait and see approach to this new LMIC and give it the benefit of the doubt - anything may be better than the current state, which is akin to driving a car without a dashboard. Having a coordinated approach to LMI will help guide investments in education - at the political and the personal level.

Last January George Brown College launched Career Coach, an online service that is designed to illuminate for potential students the gaps in the current labour market and which programs prepare graduates for these fields. It is a powerful application that draws on StatsCan data and links programs, pathways, and job openings with salary information. This follows on an excellent report the Toronto Board of Trade commissioned last last year, which GBC, along with our GTA college partners Centennial, Humber and Seneca, along with Colleges Ontario and the United Way, sponsored. This report - Closing the Property Gap - has the best LMI available to date; you can download the data cube and execute your own analyses on it. And while it is focused on the GTA, it offers a good start to what is needed to ensure that regions and regional economies can enable citizens to best respond to present and future labour market conditions.

No comments: