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 30,000 full-time, part-time, apprenticeship and international students at three campuses and two City School locations at the Eva Rothwell Resource Centre and the Central Public Library in Hamilton, Ontario. Mohawk has ranked first among all Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area colleges in student satisfaction for seven consecutive years and first in graduate satisfaction for the past five years. Mohawk ranks 15th among all colleges in Canada for applied research activity and has been named among Canada’s greenest employers and the region’s top employers for the past three years.