June 1, 2015 3:35 pm

Lack of certain job skills hurt productivity in Western Canada: study

A study by the Canada West Foundation says 40 per cent of employees could perform better if they improved on basic skills like math, reading and writing.

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CALGARY – A new report says missing job skills in industries from retail to engineering are hurting Western Canada’s productivity.

The study by the Canada West Foundation says 40 per cent of employees could perform better if they improved on basic skills like math, reading and writing.

It says roughly half of people who didn’t finish high school are missing such essential skills, while 30 per cent of university graduates are also lacking skills needed for their jobs.

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The report also says immigrants have skills shortages of between 10 to 16 per cent higher than the non-immigrant population.

Using 2011 data from Statistics Canada and the OECD, the study compared what jobs skills are needed with what skills Canadians actually have.

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The Canada West Foundation says employers should invest in training to increase productivity, efficiency and safety in an increasingly competitive global economy.

It also recommends that the education system put more emphasis on essential skills training in public and post-secondary school.

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© 2015 The Canadian Press

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