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Skills/Compétences Canada Launches National Awareness Campaign to Promote Essential Skills to Young Career Seekers

Campaign highlights the skills gap between education and the needs of employers

OTTAWA, Sept. 26, 2013 /CNW/ – Skills/Compétences Canada, a not-for-profit organization that actively promotes careers in skilled trades and technologies, today launched a national awareness campaign to promote the importance of essential skills for young people who are seeking to build careers in Canada’s skilled trades sectors. The nine essential skills campaign highlights the nine basic skills identified by Employment and Social Development Canada(ESDC) that provide the foundation for learning all other skills and enable workers to evolve and adapt to change: numeracy, oral communications, working with others, continuous learning, reading text, writing, thinking, document use and digital skills.

Working in conjunction with ESDC, the Skills/Compétences Canada campaign will focus on young Canadians who are pursuing careers in skilled trades and technology sectors. It will highlight the 9 essential skill profiles which are used in nearly every job and at different levels of complexity, and explain their foundational role in understanding and applying concepts introduced in technical training.

“To ensure that Canada continues to have a strong skilled workforce, it is important to inform youth, parents and educators about the core requirements in building successful careers in skilled trades and technologies,” saidChristianne Scholfield, Director, Essential Skills, Skills/Compétences Canada. “Working together with government, business and education partners, this campaign will highlight the essential skills that are critical in ensuring the skilled trades and technologies workforce is trained and equipped to meet and adapt to the evolving needs of employers”.

From energy and natural resources to construction, manufacturing and services, employers in the sectors that are the growth engine of our economy are finding it increasingly difficult to find workers with the right skills to meet their business needs. Furthermore, a new survey conducted by Ipsos Reid on behalf of ABC Life Literacy Canada, reveals that three in four (74%) of Canadian employers consider essential skills as “strategically relevant to their business”.

“We recognize the impact of current demographic shifts on skilled labour and are taking steps to ensure that we continue to provide a skilled and professional workforce for our membership,” said John Telford, Director of Canadian Affairs, UA Canada. “We place an extremely high value on the importance of skills training and education, and through partnerships with industry and organizations like Skills/Compétences Canada, it is our goal to continue to meet rigorous standards of service excellence within the skilled trades.”

With a membership of over 300,000, the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry (UA) is one of the largest employers of apprentices in Canada and a sponsor of Skills/Compétences Canada.

Skills/Compétences Canada offers experiential learning opportunities through events and skilled trades and technology competitions for youth, such as National Skilled Trades and Technology Week and the Skills Canada National Competition. Essential Skills will be highlighted and integrated into these events. For example, the interactive Try-A-Trade® and Technology activities are a popular attraction at skills competitions, providing an opportunity to learn more about skilled trade and technology careers in a direct, hands-on way. Essential Skills will be integrated into Try-A-Trade® and Technology activities, highlighting how basic skills are a prerequisite in all skilled trade occupations. SCC is also updating ESDC’s Essential Skills Profiles which describe how workers in various occupations use each of the key essential skills to complete everyday job tasks. The updated profiles will be aligned with SCC’s core skilled trade categories: Construction, Employment, Information & Technology, Manufacturing, Service, and Transportation.

The Essential Skills national awareness campaign also coincides with Essential Skills Day (September 27, 2013), an annual initiative of ABC Life Literacy Canada which seeks to raise awareness about the importance of workplace literacy and essential skills training.

About Skills/Compétences Canada
Skills/Compétences Canada was founded in 1989 as a national, not‐for‐profit organization that works with employers, educators, labour groups and governments to promote skilled trades and technology careers among Canadian youth. Its unique position among private and public sector partners enables it to work toward securing Canada’s future skilled labour needs while helping young people discover rewarding careers. Skills/Compétences Canada offers experiential learning opportunities including skilled trades and technology competitions for hundreds of thousands of young Canadians through regional, provincial/territorial, national and international events, as well as skilled trades awareness programs. Headquartered in Ottawa, Ontario, Skills/Compétences Canada is the Canadian Member organization of WorldSkills International. For more information, visit www.skillscanada.com or call 877-754-5226.

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Media Contact:
Caroline McGrath
CMM Communications Group (for Skills/Compétences Canada)

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