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    Ontario Government Needs To Tackle Skills Gap

    The Ontario Government needs to focus more on creating winning conditions for businesses, according to the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) and the Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce (GOCC) and the over thirty other Chambers in Ontario from Windsor to Cornwall and as far north as Thunder Bay and Sudbury, who recently presented a pre-budget submission to the Province.

    The Ontario Government needs to focus more on creating winning conditions for businesses, according to the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC), who recently presented a pre-budget submission to the Province.

    The 2013 pre-budget submission advises government to take seven practical steps to help grow the provincial economy, including tackling the provincial deficit, exploring new ways of delivering public services, and investing in ways to export Ontario to the world.

    Addressing the fiscal challenge remains businesses’ top priority. “Our provincial debt is approaching $300 billion,” said Allan O’Dette, President & CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce.  “Interest payments on that debt represent the third highest area of program spending after health care and education.”

    “Government also needs to fundamentally re-evaluate its role as the province’s default service provider,” added O’Dette. “International experience tells us that you can shift service delivery to the private and not-for-profit sectors and create a cost-savings while improving service quality.”

    Citing massive labour shortages, the submission also calls on the Ontario Government to let employers play a more prominent role in employment and training services. “It’s disconcerting to find that 25% of employers in the GTA region are having difficulty hiring someone with the right qualifications,” said Bob Malcolmson, CEO & General Manager of the Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce.

    The 2012 Durham Economic Prosperity Conference identified that Ontario needs to plug the skills gap identifying the need to develop a workforce that has the right skills as a major concern for business. “There are sectors of the economy that have had difficulty hiring someone with the right qualifications. There is an urgent need,” stated Malcolmson. 

    Members of the OCC were surveyed as part of the Chambers’ pre-budget submission. Highlights  include:

    •    76% of Ontario businesses believe that reducing the size of government should be a top priority
    •    30% of employers have had difficulty hiring someone with the right qualifications
    •    62% of Ontario businesses believe clamping down on the underground economy should be a top priority

    We need to act collectively, strategically, and with purpose to ensure that the province remains the best place to live, work and raise a family. Click here to read the full submission.