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December 10, 2012 / mike54martin

The Future of Work?

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Earlier this year the Human Resource Professionals Association (HRPA) and the accounting firm Deliotte released a report on the future of work in Canada entitled Canada Works 2025. This report looked at the key economic, social, technological, environmental and demographic trends shaping the Canadian workplace and perhaps what is even more interesting developed three scenarios of what the Canadian economy and society could look like in 2025.

In the view of the report’s authors the year 2025 could bring what they call “the lost decade”, a period of positive but unsustainable prosperity. Or what we all hope for is an ushering in of an era in which Canada and Canadian workers transform our economy into a northern tiger. Bill Greenhalgh, CEO, Human Resources Professionals Association explained the tiger concept like this: “As the northern tiger, Canada enjoys a strong and robust economy where workplace flexibility is the norm and training and education providers are in synch with the needs of business.”

The big question is how do we get there? And like all possible views of the future that depends on the decisions we make today. If we make the right combination of decisions we end up with a vibrant and dynamic economy and workforce. If not we get one of the first two options. In the words of Jeff Moir from Deliotte “The best way to predict the future is to invent it.”

And so we build this future by encouraging government and business to work in tandem and identify and implement the common strategies that we need, as well as the strategies we have to put in to hedge against undesirable outcomes. And those strategies must focus on:

Modernizing Education so that the next generation of workers has the tools, technology and teachers they need to succeed.

Reforming Immigration to bring in workers that we need and helping immigrants to succeed

Improving Employment Flexibility by addressing skills gaps and shortages and building workplaces that support workers and families

Investing in Industry Excellence to create new Canadian super companies and services that can be the best in Canada and around the world.

Ensuring that Talent has Access to Opportunities and companies have access to talent across the country by reducing barriers and regulations.

HRPA and Deliotte may not have come up with all of the answers to the challenges facing the Canadian employment landscape but they seem to have some strong suggestions about how to get to the best possible outcome. Let’s hope that the decision makers are listening.

This post first appeared on my blog at www.jobs.ca

Mike Martin is a freelance writer and the author of The Walker on the Cape, a Sgt. Windflower mystery.

www.walkeronthecape.com

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