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Building Skills Connections Series: Key Alberta Sectors

As Alberta’s economy evolves, the skills that employers look for in workers are also changing. Of course, in an increasingly diversified economy, the supply of and demand for skills are not uniform across sectors. Building Skills Connections Series: Alberta’s Key Sectors examines skills needs in seven key sectors of Alberta’s economy: oil, gas, and mining; finance, insurance, and real estate; agriculture and agri-food; health and medical; renewable energy and environmental products and services; cultural and creative industries; and technology. The second in a series of reports on skills needs in Alberta, it builds on previous research to delve deeper into the challenges facing Alberta’s major employment sectors.

Report Highlights

  • Albertan employers face a variety of challenges in recruiting and developing workers—from labour supply issues to concerns about skills, including the work-readiness of new graduates and the adaptability of current employees.
  • Employers across seven of Alberta’s major industrial sectors emphasized the need for a post-secondary education (PSE) system that was responsive to labour market needs and agile enough to keep up with evolving workplaces and technologies.
  • There is a growing need for soft skills (such as problem-solving, communication, intercultural competency, continuous learning, and resiliency), as well as multidisciplinary skill sets (often including technology skills).
  • To meet some of their skills needs, employers are changing their recruitment strategies, providing internal training and development opportunities, and leveraging external industry-based training programs.
  • Employers are working with PSE institutions to target under-represented population groups; offer work-integrated learning opportunities; develop shorter-term programming for re-skilling; ensure workers are equipped with the necessary soft skills; raise awareness of career options; and develop tailored industry training.

Forthcoming research from the Building Skills Connections Series will share findings from a provincial survey of employers, shedding additional light on the skills, credentials, and occupations that Albertan employers are seeking. It will also expand on the approaches employers and PSE institutions can take to ensure Alberta has the well-educated, highly skilled workforce it needs now and in the future.

Full Report

Access the full report free of charge—and stay tuned for further reports from the Building Skills Connections Series.

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