Addressing Canada's looming skills crisis: retaining older workers rather than replacing them

OTTAWA, December 1, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - In a discussion paper released today, Incenting Seniors to Continue Working, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce reinforces the argument that retaining older workers in the workforce is part of the solution to avoid the skills crisis Canada is on the verge of experiencing. The time is right to look at removing disincentives that discourage seniors from working. The paper examines key concerns that need to be addressed in order to pave the way for retention of older workers.

"By the start of the next decade, people old enough to leave the labour force will outnumber those old enough to join it. In Canada, we predict a labour shortage of nearly one million people by 2020", said Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. "We have been talking about this challenge for years, it's time to start looking at concrete solutions" he added.

Seniors represent a constituency that needs to be better integrated into the workforce. They possess the essential skills employers need. Many want to continue working and view work as an important part of their life balance. In order to draw more attention to the seriousness of the demographics issue, last October the Canadian Chamber of Commerce released a report entitled: Canada's Demographic Crunch: Can underrepresented workers save us? Today's report provides some answers.

The Canadian Chamber believes that a new business culture aimed at retaining, rather than replacing, senior workers is the correct approach to pursue. A copy of the paper can be found here.

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is the vital connection between business and the federal government. It helps shape public policy and decision-making to the benefit of businesses, communities and families across Canada with a network of over 420 chambers of commerce and boards of trade, representing 192,000 businesses of all sizes in all sectors of the economy and in all regions. News and information are available at or follow us on Twitter @CdnChamberofCom.