AUCC President says employers want PSE to produce flexible, adaptable employees

June 19, 2014

Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) President Peter Davidson and New Flyer CEO Paul Soubry have published an op-ed detailing what they believe employers are looking for from Canadian PSE. Davidson and Soubry argue that employers want new hires to possess “social qualities,” or “soft skills,” citing economist Todd Hirsh’s claim that PSE needs to “prepare students not for a job, but for a lifetime of morphing careers.” While they bemoan the paucity of good data on labour market needs, they emphasize that policy makers should embrace a broad understanding of the skills that PSE should impart, including technical skills as well as teamwork, multi-dimensional thinking, and cross-cultural competencies. They also suggest that policy makers should understand the need for worker adaptability. “We can’t know everything about labour market needs of the future,” Davidson and Soubry write, “but we do know that flexibility, variety and fit will be essential.” AUCC News