Becoming State of the Art: Industry Shared Approaches, 2012

Some economists and labour market analysts see a bleak future for the some 900,000 working-age Ontarians without a high school diploma. While discouraging, there are ways in which this forecast can be prevented.

Industry shared is an approach involving employers and service providers in the co-design and delivery of training to address the mismatch of supply and demand in labour markets. To encourage innovation in the delivery of literacy and essential skills and help achieve better labour force results, Essential Skills Ontario has created Industry Shared Approaches, the first in a series of research briefs on Becoming State of the Art.

Industry Shared Approaches addresses the notion that to stay competitive, businesses need individuals with industry-relevant skills. While this brief acknowledges that literacy and essential skills services in Ontario have made great strides in providing clients with essential skills that meet broad educational and learner-centered goals, the exit points of these programs have been focused more towards further education and stronger community participating, not on meeting current employment needs.

Industry Shared Approaches recognizes that literacy and essential skills service providers are currently well-positioned to play a role in Ontario’s labour force development strategy if they share the responsibility and dividends with industry, with the research brief giving recommendations on how this can be achieved. This shift towards a demand-side approach that is geared to the immediate labour market needs of employers is critical if the province wants to move towards a brighter economic future.