14:03 PM

Closing the skills gap


Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Task Force delivers report to help close the skills gap

Closing the skills gap between people looking for jobs and jobs that need to be filled is the purpose of the Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Task Force on Workforce Development, which has delivered its report to Council.

The Task Force, headed by Mayor Fred Eisenberger and Mohawk College President Ron McKerlie, made a series of recommendations under five broad areas:

1. Build Hamilton’s local workforce capacity

2. Develop initiatives to create and sustain local jobs

3. Achieve greater alignment between employer needs and skills development

4. Create a local system to connect job-seekers with local employers

5. Address negative perceptions about the City of Hamilton

Some of the specific recommendations include:

• Encourage employers to create co-op programs for students;

• Hold a bi-annual forum to assess the skills and occupation needs of employers;

• Create an online platform to support employers with recruitment;

• Regularly share basis business expansion and retention survey information;

• Forecast and communicate labour force needs to employers.


“Hamilton will succeed when its people are at their best and reaching their full potential. In order for Hamilton to continue to have a growing and innovative economy, we need to ensure that our people are getting the skills they need today to fill the jobs of tomorrow.”
Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger
“To be successful, communities of the future will need to have a strong alignment between economic expectations and workforce skills, welcoming everyone to play a role in building a healthy, resilient and prosperous region.”
Mohawk College President Ron McKerlie

The Task Force was struck in June 2015 in response to Hamilton’s serious shortage of skilled trades and an aging workforce.

The Task Force has 12 members drawn from City of Hamilton council and staff members, local post-secondary institutions, industry, labour, the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce and workforce specialists.

This is the Task Force’s final report but it will continue to meet to ensure follow up is done on its recommendations.

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Media Contacts:

Amanda Kinnaird
Communications and Media Advisor

Office of Mayor Fred Eisenberger
City of Hamilton
T: 905-546-4225
C: 905-973-3263
E: amanda.kinnaird@hamilton.ca

Jay Robb
Director of Communications

Mohawk College
905.979.8893 (cell)
905.575.1212 ext. 3965

About Mohawk

Mohawk College educates and serves more than 29,500 full-time, part-time, apprenticeship and international students at three main campuses in Hamilton, Ontario and learning hubs across Hamilton through City School by Mohawk, and at the College’s Centre for Aviation Technology at the Hamilton International Airport. Mohawk is among the top five colleges for applied research in Canada. It has been named one of Canada’s greenest employers seven years in a row, holds a GOLD STARS rating from AASHE for sustainability achievements and is home to the country’s largest and first institutional building to receive dual certification for Zero Carbon Building Framework design and performance for The Joyce Centre for Partnership & Innovation. More than 135,000 people have graduated from Mohawk since it was founded.