The Yorkton Chamber of Commerce last week named Canada’s skills shortage the number one barrier to competitiveness for area businesses.
“Businesses in Saskatchewan, and especially in the Yorkton area, know first hand the need for skilled labour,” said Don Rae, the Yorkton Chamber’s new president. “We are pleased that the Canadian Chamber network intends to maintain its focus on skill in 2014, particularly in addressing four key areas: upskilling, immigration policies, education-employment alignment and Aboriginal education and workforce development.”
The pronouncement came in concert with the unveiling of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s Top 10 Barriers to Competitiveness for 2014, an initiative begun two years ago to lobby governments to reduce impediments to Canadian business.
The other nine barriers identified by the national Chamber for 2014 are: uncompetitive travel and tourism strategies; inadequate public infrastructure planning; barriers to success in global markets; internal barriers to trade; a complex and costly tax system; lack of clear sustainability policies; severe shortage of economic development tools for businesses in Canada’s territories; inconsistent regulatory policies between Canada and the U.S.; and insufficient support for innovation in Canadian manufacturing.
While all of these have some bearing on local business, some are more important than others.
“The Yorkton Chamber of Commerce considers the complex and costly tax system and the internal barriers to trade as the second and third barriers most affecting the Yorkton area,” wrote Juanita Polegi in a press release. “Also, recognizing that tourism is important to the local economy, the Yorkton Chamber has expressed its disappointment to the Minister Responsible for Parks Canada about the cuts in services and programming to the National Parks.”
The full 25-page report is available at yorktonchamber.com.