Mar 17, 2013 / 8:48 pm
It's been almost five years since economist Don Drummond was asked by concerned federal and provincial labour ministers to find solutions to the mismatched job market that has increasingly worried employers, governments and workers alike.
But Drummond's response for governments to spend $13 million, a bargain in the world of social policy,” to overhaul and improve labour market information has gone all but unnoticed.
Now, this week's federal budget will make that very same issue, deemed "critical" in 2008, its centrepiece.
As businesses yell louder about their inability to find the right people, and the unemployed and the underemployed voice equal frustration, the federal government is poised to revisit its labour market interventions, design some new programs to bring together the private sector and underutilized pools of workers, and demand better results from the provinces.
Will this time be any different?
"We're not going to find the fix overnight," said Sarah Anson-Cartwright, director of skills policy at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce whose job it is to push full-time for a more efficient labour market.
"We get a sense that now, there's a real momentum and a real sense of the need to engage. Everyone seems to realize we have a looming skills crisis."
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