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Economic Shift from Jobs to Skills Economy

Economic Shift from Jobs to Skills Economy

By Nancy Thompson, Executive Director, AWENS – Association of Workplace Educators of Nova Scotia  @nthompsonED

2.4 million jobs will be added to Canada over the next few years, according to a report released by RBC in July 2018.  The study concludes that ‘Canada is shifting from a jobs economy to a skills economy’ yet employers, universities, colleges and other governmental organizations are not ready for this shift.

The RBC report states there are four things we need to know about what the study deemed as the revolution and future of work:

Disruption is accelerated
Flexibility is the Future
Digital Literacy is essential
There is a need to prepare for the future of work

It continues, by also stating, that everyone needs to be working towards the development of a skilled workforce, providing a continuum of learning to meet the demands of our ever-changing global environment.

As you read the study you can easily determine that it is suggesting and recommending that workplace education should never stop, and businesses must prepare youth for the jobs that will be available to them as they enter the workforce. As many of us know, employees or potential employees have talents, abilities and skills that are required to do a job today, but is that job going to be available as we change the way we do business? For this reason alone (and there are many others) the workplace needs to continue to be one that fosters a “culture of learning” for onboarding and existing employees.

The need for youth (30 years under) to acquire Soft Skills training is mentioned over and over again in the RBC report. They gave an example of Engineers, and how they are at the top in their field, but Communication skills was not one of the subjects that was taught, while they were getting their Engineering degree. This has failed to prepare them for the world of work and the need to effectively communicate with colleagues and potential clients.

Communication is an Essential Skill, in any field of work, at any level within an organization. There are many companies that are implementing training strategies to support the youth whom they employ so that they can acquire the necessary skills to do future jobs. Yet, there are many that do not support employees,  this needs to change.

The study reports that Statistics Canada foresees over 500,000 workers will move up the skills ladder in the next decade.  Yet, we have 2.4 million jobs becoming available in Canada. Come on employers we have a lot of work to do over the next few years to prepare our youth so that they can move forward in the future world of work in Canada.


Nancy holdBlog Footers an MBA in Global Leadership and a Diploma in Adult Education. Working in the field of Adult Education for over 25 years, she is dedicated to helping organizations build capacity from within, and insure adult educators receive the professional development they need to be innovative and build success in others.     Nancy believes, by investing in workplace education, everyone wins – the company, the people and the communities in which we live.

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