Atlantic Canada lacks the concentrationof resources and population foundelsewhere in the world.Our workforce is leaving for other partsof Canada.Atlantic Canada generates, as aproportion of the population, one of therichest talent pools in the world,spawned by high-calibre universitiesand colleges which draw students fromoutside and inside. Yet the regionbleeds talented young people instaggering numbers, as they search formeaningful employment elsewhere –often despite a passion to remain in theregion.The Important Issues
To make it exponentially worse, we desperately lack new immigrants to fill thesegaps and enrich our talent pool.We are not attracting our share of economic immigrants, in 2001, Atlantic Canadatook in 4,878 economic immigrants, 0.21% of the population. This is very lowwhen compared to the national average of 0.45%.The Important Issues2011 Economic Immigration as a Percentage ofPopulationSource: Citizenship and Immigration CanadaNova Scotia 0.15%New Brunswick 0.20%PEI, Newfoundland & Labrador 0.30%Total Atlantic Canada 0.21%Total Canada 0.45%Economic immigrants are people selected for their skills and ability to contribute toCanadas economy, including skilled workers, business people and provincialnominees.
The heavy out-migration and weakimmigration has triggered an average netloss of 6,400 people a year since theearly 1990s – and that has led topopulation atrophy. More people lived inAtlantic Canada 20 years ago than today.Our labour force has only grown at acompound annual growth rate of 0.55%,over the last 10 years, less than half theCanadian average which itself is slowing.Atlantic Canada reports much higher thanaverage unemployment, particularly atthe younger and older ends of theworkforce. Meanwhile, employers arestarved for specific job skills. We havepeople without jobs and jobs withoutpeople.The Important Issues (continued)20 year 10 year 3 yearCanada 1.39% 1.32% 0.99%Atlantic Canada 0.71% 0.55% 0.46%Newfoundland 0.39% 0.57% 1.54%PEI 1.15% 1.11% 1.74%Nova Scotia 0.83% 0.68% 0.22%New Brunswick 0.70% 0.28% -0.19%Labour Force Compound Annual Growth RatesSource: Statistics Canada
Our provinces are aging, with an alarming decline in the younger demographiccohort—Atlantic Canada is the oldest cohort in the country.The Important Issues (continued)
Atlantic Canada boasts fewer university graduates and a higher percentage ofpeople without a high school diploma than most other provinces. YET: a higherpercentage of population holds a post secondary certificate or college diploma –which suggests a capacity for training that can be built upon.We see a cycle of poor health: Our population has a higher than average rate ofdiabetes, smoking and obesity and lower than average income in the region.The Important Issues (continued)
What’s NeededIn this new world where talent and ideas are thewealth of nations, we need to take a uniquelyaggressive approach to talent retention anddevelopment, attract our share of new immigrantsand build policies and programs that better matchour people with opportunities through the region.In this new world where talent and ideas are thewealth of nations, we need to take a uniquelyaggressive approach to talent retention anddevelopment, attract our share of new immigrantsand build policies and programs that better matchour people with opportunities through the region.
Create a “K-to-Work approach” where the focus is on what it will take to preparestudents for the workforce of tomorrow and where a link between schooling fromK-12 to colleges and universities to the workforce is established.– Integrate the “customers of education” with the “suppliers of education” and formpartnership between employers, post-secondary institutions and middle schools/highschools on specific programs to increase awareness of potential career paths.– Gather information on workforce supply and demand from industry and provide toeducational institutions, students and parents through an Atlantic Canadian online tool.– Post-secondary institutions should provide short-duration, industry-specific training toenable recent graduates to meet workforce needs where gaps exist. (e.g., BusinessBoot camp at the Ivey School of Business, McCain Institute’s Our Top Talent model.)Our “Big Ideas”
Experiential learning should play a larger role in our students’ education. Workexperience is a key building block to a more productive labour force.– Employers need to commit themselves to co-op, and apprentice opportunities forstudents and entry-level internship programs for new graduates and immigrants.– Governments need to provide income support programs for apprentice and internshipprograms and incentives for employers providing these placements.Our retired employees are a deep well of potentially powerful expertise that canbe tapped. Companies need to find ways to leverage the experience of their ownretirees to train or mentor new entrants to the workforce.Our “Big Ideas” (continued)
Our educational system should consider what online learning technology couldmean for our core K-12 courses.– Inspired, engaging online teaching could get many more students through high schoolgraduation and into the college and university system much better prepared to learn.– Imagine if we took the best teachers and used interactive technologies to make French,Math and English lessons available to all online.– We should further explore the concept of “flipped classrooms” with students learning ontheir own time and asking questions in the classroom, allowing them to learn relevantmaterial at their own speed with the best possible content as the driver.Curriculum and courses must adapt to our changing requirements.– Languages should become more of a focus. This will allow our students to conversewith suppliers and customers from around the world.– Course content from middle school to post-secondary should become more horizontal—more and more, the best programs will provide integrated learning, connectingtechnology with the arts and humanities.Our “Big Ideas” (continued)
We need dramatically higher levels of economic immigrants to increase ourlabour force growth, expand our capabilities and stimulate moreentrepreneurship. We must advocate policies to encourage students andimmigrants to adopt Atlantic Canada as their home.– There needs to be coordination by employers, universities and the immigrationdepartments of the four Atlantic Provinces to lobby the federal government forsignificantly higher immigration quotas.– Business, government and training institutions must also work together to establishtarget numbers and profiles of immigrants that we would like to attract to the region overa stated period.– We need a private-sector led Atlantic coalition to help recent university graduates(including domestic and international students) remain in the region for two-three yearsafter graduation.Our “Big Ideas” (continued)
Social development is an important underpinning of a successful talent strategy.We need to improve the lives of people, and the vitality of their communities, sothat they active participants in the economy and valuable contributors to thesociety.– Our employers should adopt targeted initiatives in their communities, providingemployees with time to volunteer in tutoring, mentoring and enriching lives.– Improve health and physical fitness of the workforce by providing health eating options,smoking cessation programs, and by encouraging lunch time exercise.Our “Big Ideas” (continued)
The big ideas outlined are appropriately ambitious, hopefully exciting, but they arenot “blue-sky impossible” – far from it.They will flow from the collective product of thousands of personal actions takenby committed, passionate individuals like us who want Atlantic Canada tosucceed in the changing and challenging world arena.On the following slides is a list of some things you can do, as a business leaderin our region, to help create a better Atlantic Canada.What You Can Do
Commit to hiring at least one full-time paid intern or apprentice for a one yearterm each year until 2017—Larger companies can do more!Leverage current government programs and community resources. (e.g., One-Job Pledge initiative administered by the New Brunswick Department of Post-Secondary Education, YMCA settlement services).Communicate requirements for skills/labour to universities and communitycolleges.Volunteer to guest lecture at a university, community college or high school aboutyour career or company.Offer “orientation tours” of your workplace to students.Mentor a new immigrant or new entrant to workforce.What You Can Do
Look at the community around you. Can you implement a volunteer program totutor, train or help nourish the people who need your help?Provide your employees time to volunteer in the community.Consider the possibility of implementing a health & wellness program at yourworkplace.Consider working with a local institution to set up a low cost MBA for your firm.What You Can Do (continued)
Thank you for your helpwith this importantinitiative