Feds moving on innovation, jobs, Flaherty says

Wednesday May 02, 2012
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The Harper government plans to help build a strong manufacturing sector through promoting innovation and jobs, according to finance minister Jim Flaherty. Flaherty made the remarks on Tuesday, speaking at the Waterloo Region Manufacturing Innovation Network’s Manufacturing Summit in Kitchener, Ont. He highlighted how key elements of the government’s Economic Action Plan 2012 will significantly strengthen Canadian manufacturers. Among the areas he highlighted was innovation. “We’re a country of great natural resources, but our greatest renewable natural resource is our grey matter,” he said. “Our government has gone to great lengths to nurture it.” Flaherty said the government plans to double the size of the National Research Council’s Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) and refocus the NRC on areas that will develop Canadian businesses that offer innovative products and services. The government has also earmarked $400 million to establish a venture capital fund at the federal level. The minister also emphasized jobs as part of the government’s plan to strengthen the country’s manufacturing sector. “There is a shortage of workers who are qualified for the jobs that are available,” he said. “It’s quite frustrating.” The government plans to continue the hiring credit for small business for another year to encourage small- to medium-size enterprises to continue to hire work, as well as to continue to reform Employment Insurance (EI) to encourage people to re-join the workforce.


0 #3 Ed Kinakin 2012-05-09 13:35
One other comment. We need to look at ways to make post secondary education more affordable, accessible and applicable. University education, specifically engineering, is far to difficult to get into, way too expensive and teaches theory only not practical skills (other than theoretical research and analysis). Furthermore governments both Provincial and Federal need to provide more incentives for entrepreneurshi p and small high tech companies. This would provide options for those people who cannot afford an university education to get into the workforce on their own.
0 #2 Ed Kinakin 2012-05-09 13:18
I agree wholeheartedly with Chris' comments. Our education system has to be reworked to prepare our youth to enter the workforce with applicable skills. If we can't get the academics who are in charge of the ciricullums to change how things are then maybe we need to look at private schools aimed at trades training. These schools could be supported and even guided by industry and its needs. When the we start to lose tax base and funding for public schools because they have effective competition then maybe the government will have to incentive to push the stick in the mud academics to change or get out. I realize this is a radical approach but we need things to change quickly and effectively right now.
0 #1 Chris Kappeler 2012-05-09 10:48
The governments initiative for moving on innovation jobs is certainly going in the right direction. What our country needs however, is the dual education system like e.g. Germany and Switzerland. It consists in offering young people not only an academic education, but to learn a trade from scratch on the job in the manufacturing industry, with parallel theoretical training concluded with a diploma at the end of the apprenticeship. This would bring the required professional skills to the industries and reduce dramatically the youths unemployment rate. Within once acquired skills lays the true potential for innovations.

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