Filling the Gaps: Post-Secondary Training and Public Policy in Western Canada

Provincial governments need to work cooperatively to encourage job-training that better promotes the future employability of Canada’s human capital


The purpose of this project was to improve the regional strategies that western Canadian governments are employing to combat the projected skills and labour shortage. The project focused on provincial and regional government initiatives to increase and improve recruitment and training, a particularly important feature in light of the fact that the provinces are largely in control of education and therefore have more impact on skills training initiatives. Project researchers discovered that while several western Canadian governments are addressing potential skill gaps, more can be done to facilitate cooperative training programs between industry, governments, and education-based organizations. They recommended more funding for programs and students to encourage skills training and ensure sufficient resources would be available to educate prospective workers. Improved transferability of credits between institutions was also cited as a means to improving regional job-training programs.

Grant Outputs

Willing and Able: The Problem of Skills Shortages in Western Canada –

This report explores how governments are trying to influence the skills training outcomes of Western Canada’s post-secondary system, and identifies ways in which governments could improve their skills training policies. It suggests that governments in Western Canada must create the tools to attract, retain, and build human capital, must continue economic diversification, should strengthen transportation infrastructure, and must develop new ways of facilitating regional coordination in order to improve skills training. The report concludes that better coordination between the private sector and the governments that oversee post-secondary education would improve training and hiring for workers.

Toward a Bright Future: Recommendations for Addressing Skills Shortages in Western Canada –

This report suggests that a lack of appropriately skilled labourers may be hampering economic growth and expansion in some sectors in western Canada. The report provides some recommendations to help alleviate skills shortages in Western Canada. Recommendations include, for example, more funding for post-secondary education, tax credits to encourage on-the-job training, and the recommendation that increased training and skills development should be opened to aboriginal peoples.

Tools of the Trade: An Inventory of Education and Skills Development Programs in Western Canada –

This report finds that the federal government provided approximately 300 different programs across 33 different fields in order to improve education and training in the West.

Grant Details

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