Publication Type

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a dramatic impact on Canada’s businesses, workers, and the economy over the past two years, adding to ongoing technological and demographic shifts and an increasing demand for skilled workers.  With a focus on recovery and growth, the country’s leading employers are finding new and innovative ways to identify and develop skilled talent. 

Produced by the Business + Higher Education Roundtable (BHER) in partnership with the Business Council of Canada (BCC), Empowering People for Recovery and Growth: 2022 Skills Survey Report, analyzes survey responses from 95 of Canada’s largest employers.  
The report offers insight into how priorities have evolved over time and helps us see emerging trends and challenges, including those related to the COVID-19 pandemic. 
Key takeaways: 

  • COVID-19 has shifted the skills employers are looking for. While human skills, such as communication, empathy, and the ability to work well with others, are still as critical as ever, the demand for technical skills is growing.
  • Employers are generally confident about their ability to hire and replace workers, but opportunities exist to find new ways to recruit, train, and develop future workers, including recruiting more recent immigrants.
  • Canada’s leading employers are looking to post-secondary institutions to produce new graduates with the skills they need, and are willing to work with them to ensure that graduates are equipped to succeed.
  • Employers view work-integrated learning (WIL) as the best way to develop, recruit, and transition new graduates into the workplace.
  • Companies continue to invest in employee training and development, despite the added costs of the pandemic.
  • Canada’s businesses are willing to pay for worker upskilling and reskilling, but many signal they are struggling to develop tailored programming. Opportunities exist for increased collaboration with post-secondary institutions to address these needs.