January 22nd, 2021

Business Beat: Workforce skills needed

By Mark Keller on November 13, 2019.

Finding the talent and skills needed to move our organizations forward is a challenge shared by the private and public sector so I’m not surprised to see education, training and hiring challenges appear in data recently collected from regional businesses.

As one example, a large number of employers said hiring was more challenging because potential employees lacked the technical skills needed on the job.

That information is both concerning and interesting.

It is a concern because business growth will be slower if needed skills sets are missing. But for the college, the information present and intriguing opportunity. We’re eager to take action to help build the skills employees need and employers want.

That said, we will need to dive deeper into the question to be sure we’re providing the right answer. That’s where the next steps in the Business Retention Expansion and Workforce Development (BREWD) project will make a big difference.

The data that has been gathered from hundreds of regional employers is now being grouped, and themes for future action are becoming more clear.

Just like every step in this project, however, we’ll be going back to the experts and employers to make sure we understand the information and what needs to be done in response.

In this case, that reference to “technical” skills could mean many things. Coding? Welding? Working with office software? Engineering? Smart homes and communities?

To be sure the right training is offered, we need to better understand the needs of employers. The best place to get that information is from the source. You, the employer.

Yes, the BREWD team is listening to employers. But the true impact will come when we take collaborative action to support business and the economy.

Please stay with us, and continue to offer your insight. We’re stronger together.

If you’d like to share more about your training and workforce, feel free to send an email at mkeller@mhc.ab.ca. I promise to share with the BREWD leadership team, and with my colleagues on campus.

Mark Keller is director, College Advancement, at Medicine Hat College.

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