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Strengthening Ontario’s workforce for the jobs of tomorrow

This paper identifies some of the challenges currently preventing Ontario from creating a highly skilled workforce and makes recommendations on what actions could be taken to help develop one. It recommends that to achieve this goal, businesses, and the government must work together. It makes recommendations in three areas: 1. Aim our students in the right direction, by providing accurate labour market information and ensuring students are properly supported so they can make informed decisions; 2. Strengthen our education and training programs, including workplace training to ensure our existing workforce has the skills required to succeed in the new economy; and, 3. Improve the foreign credential recognition framework, to help businesses make the best use of foreign trained professionals. The paper builds off of the CanadaWorks 2025 report the HRPA prepared with Deliotte, which laid out alternative future scenarios. The scenarios – The Lost Decade, Unsustainable Prosperity and The Northern Tiger – created fulsome pictures of the Canadian workplace and workforce with respect to
the labour market, workplace productivity, changes to the employment contract, and the organization of work. By following the recommendations of this paper, we can ensure Ontario does not move towards the “lost decade” scenario. The recommendations laid out below are based upon a scan of various studies, as well as, actions taken by other jurisdictions, and the findings of a survey of 525 of the HRPA’s members, conducted online from April 18-26th, 2016. The paper has a special emphasis on what human resource professionals can do to help in these areas.