Briefing

Thirteen per cent of Canadians are either over- or under-skilled for their job: Study

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Newcomers, older workers and women tend to have fewer skills needed for employment. Shifts in technology and an aging population are likely to exacerbate the problem, according to a study from think tank C.D. Howe. (The Logic)

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Talking point: The study highlighted the importance of demographic shifts in labour markets—older workers are among the groups that tend to be under-skilled for their jobs. August’s job report for Canada was optimistic—with 81,000 jobs added that month—but also found that the number of workers aged 55 or older is growing. The figure was also clouded by weak consumer spending and high levels of household debt. The study emphasized that the skills gap can be addressed with policies that encourage lifelong learning and remove barriers for access to training for older workers. One such policy currently in place is the Lifelong Learning Plan, where workers can withdraw up to $10,000 from their RRSPs per year to pay for full-time tuition. But between 1999 and 2004, only 49,000 Canadians took advantage of the program.