Skills gap really a skills mismatch, says UofGuelph professor

June 12, 2014

An economics professor at the University of Guelph has suggested that rather than a skills gap, Canada is experiencing a “skills mismatch.” Miana Plesca said, “The percentage of people finding jobs that matched their level of education is no worse than it was 15 years ago and is actually improving. However, there has been a slight rise in over-education—people who are in jobs where they have more education than is actually required for the position.” She said that between 20–25% of employees are over-educated for their position, possibly because the percentage of individuals with PSE credentials has grown. Plesca added that employers’ claims of being unable to find skilled workers may be over-stated, and pointed out that if this were the case, there would be a corresponding increase in wages. Instead, she said, employers are looking for narrower skill sets to fill specific jobs. Plesca cautioned against increasing highly specialized, career-specific training, which she said can limit productivity. She suggested instead that there is a need for more apprenticeship programs. UofGuelph News