Business is booming.

Employers fall short when it comes to training

It’s a new type of social contract, says Malika Asthana, manager of strategy and public affairs for Canada at D2L in Toronto.

“People of all generations — particularly people who are a bit earlier in their careers, Gen Z and millennials — are interested in opportunities that will enable them to grow and see a path through themselves in the organization. And investment in skills development, on an ongoing basis, is a way to cultivate that trust with workers, and to say, ‘We are invested in your growth and you’re not just a worker for us’.”

The company spoke to a representative sample size of 400 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs, defined as those with 20 to 499 employees), business leaders and employees in Canada and the US in December, and it found that there was a shortage of knowledge about upskilling.

“Over the last decade or so, Canada has really hollowed out in terms of our national statistical reporting on some of these things but there’s a lot of anecdotal research that says that Canadian employers are not investing as much as US employers, and that we’re falling behind in terms of productivity,” says Asthana.

The survey also showed that while there was a good amount of internal training being conducted, employer support for outside or external education needs work. Twelve per cent (12%) of Canadian employees did this type of schooling in the past 12 months, despite almost three-quarters expressing interest (72%).

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