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Skills Gap: A Call to Action for Employers

TORONTO, Jan. 23, 2014 /CNW/ - Today at the Toronto Region Board of Trade, the Honourable Dr. K. Kellie Leitch, Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women, participated in a panel discussion emphasizing new employment opportunities for Canadians in the growing extractive industry.

Minister Leitch stressed the importance for employers to hire from under-represented groups, such as women and Aboriginal people, in order to help address the expected skills and labour shortages in resource extraction. The extractive industry and the energy sector present tremendous opportunities for these groups to get meaningful jobs.

Quick facts

  • The employment rate for women in the mining industry is approximately 15%, which is below the women's overall employment rate of 48%.

  • The Aboriginal population could account for roughly 4.0% to 5.3% of Canada's population in less than 20 years. Previous censuses have shown that the Aboriginal population is growing much faster than the total population, a trend which is expected to continue through to 2031.

  • Approximately 795,000 working-aged Canadians with disabilities are not working. Almost half (340,000) of them have post-secondary education and their disability does not prevent them from working.

  • By 2017, visible minorities will represent 20% of the Canadian population. This number is expected to rise to approximately 30% by 2031.

  • Economic Action Plan 2013 introduced measures to support under-represented groups in the workforce - women, young Canadians, Aboriginal peoples and people with disabilities.

  • In June 2013, $241 million in new funding was announced that will help on-reserve First Nations youth get personalized job and skills training. These investments help those who can work get the skills they need to find a job and achieve self-sufficiency.


"The extractive industry is poised for significant and sustained growth, especially in the North. To take advantage of our new economic opportunities, we are going to need all our available talent at work. Under-represented groups, such as women and Aboriginal people, provide employers with an excellent opportunity to address their skills and labour shortages."

The Honourable Dr. K. Kellie Leitch
Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women

"The federal government plays a key role in facilitating and assisting in the development of a skilled workforce -- particularly in knowledge intensive sectors like construction and resource development. We're very pleased to have Minister Leitch engage and work with industry leaders involved in this increasingly important part of Canada's labour force."

Brian Dijkema,
Conference Program Chair - Canada's New Industrial Revolution at the Toronto Board of Trade

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Associated Links

Economic Action Plan 2013

SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada

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