Investing in Learning


It seems that the Canadian landscape for workplace investment in training and development continues to be a ‘good news/bad news’ type of scenario.

According to information provided by the Conference Board of Canada (and as noted in our textbook), Canadian workplaces continue to lag behind our American counterparts in how much is invested for workplace training. That is the bad news. The good news, according to this report, is that Canadian companies are steadily increasing the amount of funds provided per employee to invest in individual workplace training and development plans.

Click here to read the report from the Conference Board of Canada.

As identified by the Conference Board of Canada, investment in learning promotes and creates positive workplace culture but the changing external environment impacts the level of investment from a budgetary perspective.  While challenging, Canadian workplaces cannot back away from the improvements in funding for workplace learning and skills development.

The need for investing in ongoing training for Canadian workers is highlighted in a recent online article provided by Canadian HR Reporter. The article notes that the need for ongoing training is critical for ensuring the continued health of the Canadian economy. More importantly the type of training needed to invest in the future is on the continual shaping of skills and competencies for Canadian workers.

Click here to read the article by Canadian HR Reporter.

As noted in the article, gone are the days where Canadian workers can expect ‘jobs for life’. Continual learning through formal and informal training strategies, are critical in order for both Canadian workers and workplaces to remain competitive. The article speaks to Canadian skills development as a changed approach for employee ‘re-skilling’ in certain sectors facing workplace challenges.

What has not changed is that the primary skills of individual adaptability and commitment to learning are ongoing requirements for Canadian workers in order to meet the future and its continuing demands. That is should be good news for us all.

Discussion Questions:

  1. As the manager for training and development, what types of re-skilling programs would you implement in order to retrain and retain a potentially aging workforce?
  2. According to the article, the concept of ‘jobs for life’ is disappearing:
    • How long do you see yourself working for a particular employer?
    • What will determine the length of your tenure with that employer?
  3. If the employer investment in your workplace training needs is $889, what types of training will you want to receive?
  4. How much individual training do you think $889 will buy?

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