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More Canadian employers are investing in employee training and participating in co-operative education programs than they were two years ago, according to a new survey by Morneau Shepell Ltd. and the Business Council of Canada.

The survey, which queried hiring managers from 95 of Canada’s largest companies, found that 83 per cent participate in co-op and work-integrated learning programs, up from 76 per cent in 2016.

In terms of training, 51 per cent of respondents said their companies are spending more than $1,000 per employee each year on average for training and 30 per cent are spending between $500 and $1,000 per employee, compared to 46 and 24 per cent, respectively, in 2016.

Read: Employers, policy-makers urged to rethink future of work

A shortage of skilled workers is also having an impact, according to the study, as 57 per cent of respondents noted the shortage is having an impact in their industry. Shortages were reported in the areas of information technology, skilled trades, analytics, statistics and quantitative analysis, engineering and leadership and management.

The survey also looked at the types of employees in short supply. Two-thirds (64 per cent) of respondents cited a shortage of candidates with the required technical skills, followed by leadership talent (35 per cent), workers willing to relocate within Canada (25 per cent) and necessary human skills (23 per cent).

Read: Despite rise in digital tools, most Canadians prefer personalized hiring process: survey

“Companies are facing unprecedented competition and disruption,” said Stephen Liptrap, president and chief executive officer at Morneau Shepell, in a news release. “They either adapt or they die. The 2018 Business Council of Canada skills survey clearly points to the importance of a diverse workforce that’s well-equipped with the human skills required to succeed in this rapidly changing economy. 

“I’m very pleased to see Canadian companies supporting employees during this time of change by investing in workplace training programs and committing to healthier workplaces.”

Employers also said new graduates expect more money, challenging work, increased flexibility and mobility and faster advancement than they did five years ago. On the contrary, 70 per cent of respondents said they expect more out of new graduates than they did five years ago because of a changing work environment resulting from rapid advancements in technology.

Read: Younger employees prioritize ‘purpose’ of work before pay, benefits: report

Copyright © 2019 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on benefitscanada.com

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