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Rick Miner

3 Solutions for Canada's Job Mismatch

Three years ago, when I published People Without Jobs Jobs Without People I had no idea of the interest the report would generate.  To date I have made over seventy presentations, typically as a keynote speaker, to a wide variety of audiences (educators, labour planners, career counselors, businesses, government officials, etc.).  As a result, it has become increasingly obvious that we have to do a lot better at matching people with jobs.  Frustration among of our youth is setting in and that is not a good thing.

Consider the following:

  • Youth unemployment is about 14% and levels of dissatisfaction are rising.
  • The number of university graduates enrolling in colleges after their graduation is on the rise resulting in even higher and higher student debt.  One college reports that that 25% of their full-time enrollment is comprised of university graduates.
  • Canadian businesses spend less on educating their employees than their US and European counterparts.
  • Our universities and colleges do not cooperate with each other to the extent they should with credit transfer issues being a major problem.
  • Our labour market information (LMI) system needs a major overhaul.  We spend so much time looking in the rear view mirror (the past) and missing all the opportunities in front of us (the future).
  • We are the only G-8 country without a ministry of education or a national education strategy.

So what are the options?  What should we do?  Unfortunately, space does not allow a full discussion of all the issues but let me pick a couple of the bigger ones.

First, we need to reform our post-secondary education (PSE) system.  Here we have a supply based model where 17 and 18 year olds, with limited LMI knowledge, defining the make up of our labour force.  It is no wonder we have a mismatch between graduates and career opportunities.  At the same time, we have the colleges and universities actively recruiting students, the more the better, since they need the tuition revenue to balance their budget.  The availability of jobs and careers does not get into the equation.

Second, we need a Pan-Canadian labour force discussion and a subsequent strategy.  Let’s not get hung up on the issues around Constitutional jurisdictions.  This is too important an issue not to be able to find a way to work together.

Third, we need to become far more sophisticated in talking about and understanding how jobs and careers will evolve.  Yes, it is hard to do but when you only look at the past you miss a lot of wonderful opportunities. If more educators, parents and employers took advantage of Career Cruising's ccEngage resources to help students thoughtfully explore viable 21st century career options, more would likely exit the educational pipeline prepared for the jobs of the future.

Obviously, I have only scratched the surface on this extremely important topic.  But if you want to learn more you can go to my web site ( where you can access (use the research link) the original People Without Jobs report and the new report:  Jobs of the Future:  Options and Opportunities.



Dr. Rick Miner brings a distinguished record of more than 40 years’ experience within post-secondary education to his position at Miner and Miner.

Recent involvements include: Presidency – Seneca College; Member – federal panel evaluating Canada’s labour market information system; Commissioner – review of the post-secondary institution system in New Brunswick; Contributor – ground breaking studies of Ontario and Canada’s labour market needs through 2031; assessment of university and college access programs.

In 2012 he published a report entitled Jobs of the Future: Options and Opportunities.

Dr. Miner holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from Gettysburg College, a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Utah and a Doctorate in Management from the University of Minnesota.  

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