By Léo Charbonneau. Prior to the unveiling of the federal budget last Thursday, there was lots of talk about a “skills mismatch” in Canada which had some within the university community concerned. That’s because at least some of the reporting contained blithe assertions like, “there are too many kids getting BAs and not enough welders,” or hoary clichés about “all those bartenders and baristas with expensive university degrees.”
In the end, the skills provisions in the 2013 budget likely will have little practical impact, positive or negative, on universities. The budget’s signature new Canada Jobs Grant program to help train or retrain Canadians for “labour market demands” is meant to be of short duration and is aimed at community colleges, career colleges and trade union training centres. There is some doubt about whether such a program will have the desired effect or is needed, but that’s a different matter. Read more...