More cohesive relationships between businesses, economic development organizations, and post-secondary institutions is a key recommendation in a recent Workforce Development Study commissioned by CAEP and funded by Community Futures Central Alberta. (Advocate file photo)

More cohesive relationships between businesses, economic development organizations, and post-secondary institutions is a key recommendation in a recent Workforce Development Study commissioned by CAEP and funded by Community Futures Central Alberta. (Advocate file photo)

Innovative job training and collaboration are needed to boost central Alberta’s economy, says report

More workforce planning, inclusion and government training are needed

More regional collaboration is needed to diversify the economy and retain skilled labour, says a report commissioned by the Central Alberta Economic Partnership.

More cohesive relationships between businesses, economic development organizations, and post-secondary institutions is a key recommendation in a recent Workforce Development Study commissioned by CAEP and funded by Community Futures Central Alberta.

The Workforce Development Strategy is based on a fall 2020 regional labour market review written by MNP. It outlines ways to support business and strengthen Central Alberta’s economy.

“The labour market has changed and building a resilient workforce requires innovation in recruitment, retention and training,” said Susan Mowbry, an MNP consulting partner. Employers, post-secondary institutions and government need to work together closely to leverage assets and identify opportunities, she added.

The 33-page report, available on CAEP’s website, recommends the development of “micro-credentialing” — having more short-term flexible learning programs to help Albertans upgrade or develop specialized job-ready skills so they can pivot in their careers.

It also encourages more workforce planning programs, the development of inclusive workplaces, and more government training for employees.

“The results of this report provide a comprehensive overview of Central Alberta’s current and future labor market needs and have provided useful data and tools in key areas of skills development, workforce diversity, and employer resources,” said Kelly Kierluk, general manager of Community Futures Central Alberta.

Kierluk added, “These tools will provide businesses and key community stakeholders with the necessary resources to both attract and develop a skilled workforce to meet the needs of our region and promote the growth and prosperity.”

CAEP chair James Carpenter said his organization values job creators “and will build our support by partnering to execute on these strategies.”

Kimberley Worthington, CAEP’s executive director, said a workshop series is in the planning stages to prepare job creators for the “new workforce.” Workshops will focus on the importance of equity, diversity, and inclusion in workplaces.

To receive notice of upcoming training, you can subscribe to CAEP’s monthly newsletter at caepalberta.com/.

Formed in 1998, CAEP is a member-driven partnership working to empower its regional communities to advance sustainable regional economic development and prosperity.

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