My brother observed recently that there are fewer and fewer jobs that do not require good technical skills.  In the past, proficient literacy and solid arithmetic skills were enough to equip a young person for a successful career.  A person who could add “common sense” to these skills could advance into management and leadership positions.  Today, however, aspiring business leaders are increasingly required to have a solid technical background in order to be considered for promotions.  It’s difficult to lead a high tech team or company if you don’t have a clue about how the products work or are built.

Hiring managers in technology-driven industries (i.e. most industries today) have a difficult time finding qualified Canadians to fill their open positions.  The public education system is failing to produce literate and numerically-competent young people.

Fortunately for Canadian businesses, our federal government has been busy approving as many immigration applications from highly-educated and qualified technical people as possible to deal with the shortfall in home-grown talent.  Engineers and scientists are arriving from Ukraine, Poland, Romania, China, India, Egypt, and many other countries, and they are being snapped up quickly by Canadian companies.

John Manley, CEO of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives is yet another voice warning that we must fix our education system.

Parents of young children, know that you have a stake in this matter!  You may not be able to fix the system, but you can fix it for your family.  You can offer your own children the kind of education that will let them stand out from the crowd.

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