The Cannexus National Career Development Conference takes place January 28-30 in Ottawa

Toronto, Jan. 10, 2013 – In the wake of a growing divide between haves and have-nots in the Canadian job market, more than 700 of the country’s career development professionals will gather January 28-30, 2013 at the Westin Ottawa for the annual Cannexus conference, presented by the Canadian Education and Research Institute for Counselling (CERIC).

Cannexus, Canada’s largest bilingual National Career Development conference, brings together career specialists from all sectors – education, community employment agencies, government, corporations, career transition firms and independent coaches – to explore innovative approaches in all areas of career counselling and career development, including the current labour mismatch in this country.

A December 2012 report from CIBC found that jobs are increasingly going unfilled due to a lack of skilled applicants. But, at the same time, employment opportunities for Canadians are increasingly disappearing in a number of occupations. No less than 30 per cent of businesses indicate they face a skilled labour shortage. This coincides with a stagnant unemployment rate above 7 per cent, the report states. The outlook for Canadian youth remains particularly dim with those 24 and under seeing their unemployment rate rise in December to 14.1 per cent, according to the latest Statistics Canada data.

“This ‘people without jobs and jobs without people’ phenomenon carries significant implications not only for the productivity of our country as a whole but for the ability of individual Canadians to find meaningful work,” says Nancy Dube, chair of the CERIC board of directors and general manager of the Sudbury, Ont. YMCA. “The role of the career development professional in guiding and supporting jobseekers and career changers becomes essential.”

Career development professionals attending Cannexus will hear keynotes from: Dr. Cindy Blackstock, executive director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada on the barriers faced by First Nations youth, the fastest growing segment of the Canadian population; Roxanne Sawatzky, president and founder of Empowering Change, who will explore motivating “multi-barriered” clients; and internationally recognized Olympic coach Debbie Muir along with swimming champion Mark Tewskbury, who was the chef de mission for the 2012 Canadian Olympic team competing in London.

Among the 140 education sessions offered at Cannexus are topics that focus on:

  • New approaches to career planning for high school students
  • Career development for baby boomers in retirement
  • Positive psychology and resilience in career management
  • Helping military personnel move into civilian employment
  • Volunteering as an extension of career
  • Using social media to tap the “hidden job market”
  • Employment for jobseekers with mental health challenges
  • Integrating internationally trained professionals in Canada
  • Career paths for a “trailing spouse” whose partner relocates
  • Executive career transition: from profit to non-profit
  •  “PINEs”: post-secondary graduates who remain un-/under-employed

The conference also includes pre-conference workshops, an exhibitor showcase of products and services for career development professionals and multiple networking opportunities.
“The field of career counselling is changing rapidly in response to shifting labour markets, demographic trends and new models of work,” says Riz Ibrahim, vice-president and general manager of CERIC. “Keeping on top of these changes and providing high-value professional development to those in the career development field is the impetus for Cannexus.”

Cannexus is supported by The Counselling Foundation of Canada and a broad network of 26 supporting organizations.

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CERIC – Canadian Education and Research Institute for Counselling is a charitable organization that advances education and research in career counselling and career development. We support the creation of career counselling-related research and professional development for a cross-sectoral community through funding project partnerships and our strategic programs. Our strategic programs are Cannexus, ContactPoint / OrientAction and The Canadian Journal of Career Development.

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