bobnology industry this year, based on a survey of 400 companies, the information industry association said. But 9,900 of these jobs could go unfilled as a result of shortages of skilled workers meaning that companies will be constrained from expanding their businesses or may even be forced to relocate some activities elsewhere.


“A serious skills shortage which exists in Canada today is becoming even more acute,” Beatty said this week at the Statistics Canada conference, warning that “a lack of skills will serve as a brake on Canada’s economic engine” and that “the problem will grow.”
Yet it is hard to see a quick turnaround to the problem, though companies can do more to train existing workers and to adopt more advanced production systems that require fewer people. For example, changes in tax regulations, notably those affecting depreciation, could reduce the cost of new technology though new technologies often require even higher level skills.

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In Ontario, there is a shameful neglect of the issue. The provincial government has seriously underfunded the entire education system, from primary and high schools through to apprenticeships, colleges and universities. Today, a crisis is emerging in our colleges and universities, which lack the space and faculty to deal with the double cohort enrolment stemming from the abolition of Grade 13. Nor does Ontario have a coherent skills training and retraining strategy.


The quasi-religious belief at Queen’s Park is that tax cuts will solve all problems.


As a key part of the current federal innovation initiative, Human Resources Development Minister Jane Stewart is pushing the need for national