Skills Shortage Symposium

I am inviting you to join us at the Sheraton Hotel in Toronto on March 4, 2008, for an important consultation on the skills shortage challenge in Ontario, one of the most pressing issues facing our economy today.

Keynote speakers for this event include Hon. John Milloy, Ontario Minister of Training, Colleges, and Universities; and Len Crispino, president of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce.

As you know, there is an urgent need to retrain workers who have been laid off in sectors such as manufacturing and forestry, while other sectors struggle to find qualified employees.

The workforce shortage problems are expected to get worse as the baby boomers retire. Even with strong immigration levels, the Conference Board of Canada estimates Ontario could be short more than 360,000 skilled employees by 2025, and more than 560,000 skilled employees by 2030.

The skills shortage will hurt our economy and the quality of services in Ontario. For Ontario to be prosperous, we must address this issue now, before it is too late.

As you may know, Colleges Ontario is part of a coalition of business, education and labour leaders who are working together to raise awareness of the challenge. The Ontario Workforce Shortage Coalition, which represents more than 100,000 employers and millions of employees, is calling for a comprehensive Ontario strategy to ensure the province has the workforce it needs, in every sector. This strategy must involve business, educators, labour and government – working together in an effective manner to produce meaningful solutions.

It won’t be easy. While many people recognize there is a skills shortage problem, the question of what to do isn’t easy to answer.

We need to gather the best ideas and input available, and that is where you come in.

Ontario’s Workforce Shortage Coalition is hosting a series of breakfast symposiums across the province, gathering expertise and advice from experts such as you. The symposiums will ask participants to answer three key questions:

1) What should business be doing to address the skills shortage?
2) What should educators be doing?
3) What should governments be doing?


We need your input. Our symposium will run from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Tuesday, March 4 at the Sheraton Hotel, with breakfast available at 8 a.m. We hope you will be able to take part in this important discussion.

The input received from these provincewide symposiums will help the coalition to develop action strategies to be presented to the McGuinty and Harper governments.

We encourage you to take part in this breakfast symposium.

Please click here to RSVP and confirm your attendance
on the morning of March 4.


Sincerely,

Linda Franklin
President & CEO
Colleges Ontario

For more information about the approaching skills shortage, please download the coalition's 8-page report The Challenge Ahead: Averting a Skills Crisis in Ontario, or the 29-page report, Ontario's Looming Labour Shortage Challenges, by the Conference Board of Canada.