The Great Canadian Skills Mismatch

A number of important demographic shifts happened since Rick Miner published the first report in the People Without Jobs, Jobs Without People series in 2010. The Great Canadian Skills Mismatch is intended to add new perspective to the ongoing debate about the existence of skills shortages and/or mismatches in Canada.

Miner concludes that by 2031 skills shortages will drop from 4.2 million unfilled positions to 2.3 million due to increased educational attainment levels, but a major problem will still exist. He argues that to address these shortages we need more workers and we need them to have the right skill sets. His recommendations include:

  • Drastically improving our labour market information (LMI) systems.
  • Developing a national education and training strategy.
  • Establishing “mandatory” career counselling opportunities for students, their parents, teachers and administrators.
  • Investing in basic literacy and employability skills training.
  • Implementing a variety of changes to our post-secondary system to make it more accessible, flexible, responsive, relevant and affordable.

You can download this report from Miner at

The world is coming to Quebec City

The International Association for Educational and Vocational Guidance (IAEVG) will be holding its annual conference in Quebec City this year, on June 4-6, in partnership with the Ordre des conseillers et conseillères d’orientation du Québec (OCCOQ) and the Regroupement québécois des organismes pour le développement de l’employabilité (RQuODE). Keynote speakers include Norm Amundson, Spencer Niles and Gideon Arulmani, and 1,200 delegates from all over the world are expected. It’s a one-of-a-kind occasion for career development professionals in Canada, since this conference rarely takes place in our country. Find out more at

What’s new on ContactPoint: Wikis! Podcasts!

The wikis have become one of the most popular resources on ContactPoint, CERIC’s online community for professionals in the career development field. In addition to the already existing wikis on career development theory and mental health, a new wiki on career development terms will be published online soon. Get in touch with to become a contributor.

To celebrate CERIC’s 10th anniversary, ContactPoint is holding a series of 10 conversations in its forum and on Twitter (#CERIC10) about topics that matter in your work as a career development professional. Discussions so far have addressed online resources and assessment tools. Also as part of anniversary celebrations, CERIC is hosting the Texttalks podcast series with authors of its newly published textbook Career Development Practice in Canada. The first podcast features an interview with Phil Jarvis on “Career Development: Key to Economic Development.”

CERIC also produces literature searches that include comprehensive listings of notable research and articles in various areas of career development. All 21 literatures searches covering themes such as Older Workers, Aboriginal Issues and Parental Involvement are available in ContactPoint’s Resource directory.


But really, how important are skills?

The OECD recently published the results from its Survey of Adult Skills, conducted as part of its Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC). Essential Skills Ontario published a series of bulletins distilling the PIAAC results, and the most recent one asks a rather blunt question: do skills actually matter when it comes to employment and earnings?

They do. In Ontario, educational attainment is one of the best predictors of employment status and income. The PIAAC data show that those who are employed have higher average scores in literacy and numeracy than those who are unemployed or out of the labour force. These results suggest that skills training could help to integrate more people in the labour force and would be beneficial to those who are looking for work. You can learn more by visiting Essential Skills Ontario’s website at

Two new CERIC-funded projects in the works

Setting the Compass: A Career Services Training Manual for Supporting Mental Health Clients

In partnership with the Nova Scotia Career Development Association, CERIC is funding the development of a web-based training manual for career service workers that will improve employment and educational outcomes for people living with mental health issues. People living with mental illness face the highest unemployment rate of any disability group, and career service workers are a critical resource in supporting clients in meeting their full employment potential. CERIC previously funded another project to better understand the training needs of career practitioners around mental health.

The Mother of All Career Transitions: A Guide to Maternity Leave and Career Development

Another CERIC-funded project seeks to understand the gap in women’s career development and create resources for employers and women experiencing maternity leave career transition. Currently existing resources related to maternity leave pertain to singular groups or singular topics, such as employment law or work/life balance. This project is developed in partnership with Canada Career Counselling and the Vanier Institute of the Family.

CERIC provides funding for research and learning projects in career development and encourages individuals and organizations alike to submit proposals for career counselling-related research or learning and development. Learn more at