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Skills shortage among top 10 barriers to competitiveness for 2014


The Canadian Chamber of Commerce has unveiled its “Top 10 Barriers to Competitiveness for 2014”, and the skills shortage topped the list.

The Canadian Chamber undertook this initiative two years ago to draw attention to the barriers that are holding back Canada’s progress, and to urge all levels of government to act more swiftly to improve Canada’s ability to compete globally.

“Since launching this initiative, in co-operation with our network of chambers of commerce, we have made great progress in furthering our competiveness agenda, particularly in addressing the barrier our members identified as being the greatest impediment to the success of Canadian business – the growing skills gap,” said Perrin Beatty, Canadian Chamber president and CEO. “The federal government and several provincial and territorial governments have also named this issue as the country’s biggest challenge.”

Addressing the top 10 barriers to competitiveness will go a long way towards restoring Canada’s competitiveness, the Canadian Chamber said. It is calling on its own membership, governments, educators, labour organizations, and others to tackle and overcome these barriers.

“We have a choice,” added Beatty. “Either we act urgently to improve our competitiveness or we will pay a high price in lost jobs and prosperity. Working together, we’ve started to address these problems over the past two years. The challenge for 2014 is to build on this progress and start closing the gap between Canadian businesses and our international competitors.”

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In addition to skills shortages, the other barriers in the top 10 include: uncompetitive travel and tourism strategies; inadequate plans for addressing deficiencies in public infrastructure; policy and regulatory barriers to success in global markets; internal barriers to trade; a complex and costly tax system; lack of clear sustainability policies; a shortage of economic development tools for businesses in Canada’s territories; inconsistent regulatory policies between Canada and the U.S.; and insufficient support for innovation in Canadian manufacturing.

Click here to access the full report.