Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, responds to questions in Vancouver, on Wednesday, July 28, 2021. Freeland says the federal government's goal is to have Afghans who assisted Canada and are now facing danger on planes out of the war-torn country as quickly as possible.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Freeland says government can help solve mismatch between skills and available jobs

OTTAWA — Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland says the federal government is well-positioned to help resolve mismatches between the skills jobseekers hold, and what employers are looking for in hiring plans.

Although the country has recovered the three million jobs lost at the onset of the pandemic last year, the ranks of Canada’s long-term unemployed remains well above pre-pandemic levels, and many people, particularly women, have dropped out of the labour force altogether.

At the same time, businesses have been reporting labour shortages.

Speaking to a conference in Toronto, Freeland says the government can help by building training programs so those looking for work have the skills employers want in today’s economy.

She also suggests the government can do more to help young people cover the cost of their education, although Freeland didn’t provide details on what the help could look like.

Still, the finance minister believes there are areas of the economy where the government needs to get out of the way and let the private sector take the lead on driving growth.