What is your vision for career development in Canada?


By Sharon Graham.

The following content was originally part of the CAREERPRO 2016 event.

There is no question that Canada is diverse and resourceful, yet we have many challenges ahead. As CAREERPROs, it is incumbent on us to be aware of our nation’s policies and plans. Early this year, at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, Prime Minister Trudeau featured Canada’s many strengths and potentials. Upon his return, he met face-to-face with 10 Canadians with diverse backgrounds and viewpoints to discuss their concerns.

There is no doubt that our current economy and labour market makes it challenging for Canadians to get ahead. Trudeau’s plan is to invest in jobs and growth and lower taxes for the middle-class. “My vision of our country is a place where everyone has a shot at success because we have the confidence and leadership to invest in Canadians.”

After watching these videos, tell us your vision for our field of Career Development in Canada.

What is Trudeau’s vision for Canada? | Justin Trudeau | World Economic Forum Davos | FactPoint Video (11:48 minutes)

Face to Face with the Prime Minister – The future of Alberta | Danny Strilchuk,  oilfield worker from Edmonton | CBC News (11:50 minutes)

Face to Face with the Prime Minister – Manufacturing jobs in Canada | Neil Piercey, formerly worked in manufacturing (15:08 minutes)

Face to Face with the Prime Minister – Students’ economic future | Charlotte Kiddell, undergraduate student (10:20 minutes)

Youth Unemployment in Canada | Anandhi Narayanan | TEDxSacredHeartCHS (15:23 minutes)

The Labour Trap: Overtime Exploitation | Global 16×9 | (20:48 minutes)

Full CBC News Special: Face To Face with the Prime Minister | Hosted by Peter Mansbridge (60 minutes, clips from above included)

Four changes shaping the labour market | Jonas Prising | World Economic Forum (post)

How to Use (and help our clients use!) Labour Market Information | Lise Stransky | Career Professionals of Canada (post)

Consider these questions and add to the discussion below.

  • What’s your vision for Career Development in Canada?
  • How are we doing as a field? What’s working? What could we do differently?
  • How do you help clients find career opportunities that are stable and secure?
  • How can we better respond to challenges that our clients face?
  • How do you recommend clients learn about labour market trends that affect them?
  • How can we serve as catalysts for positive change?
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There are many pockets of excellence and innovation in our field, but I think there are also career professionals who struggle — just like their clients — to make sense of the emergent labour market. It’s pretty clear that we can’t simply rely on the same strategies we’ve used in the past. But in order to create new and more relevant approaches, I think we need to see it as part of our profession’s mandate to understand the labour market (both locally and at a macro level), understand and build partnerships with the demand side of our economy and, when we see policies and practices that limit our clients’ futures, to advocate for change. Personally, I believe that there are trends in our labour market that need to be challenged — the rise in precarious work, youth underemployment and the widening economic divide to name just three. I agree that technology is driving a new industrial revolution and, as a field, we have to ask ourselves: Do we have a vision and a plan for helping our clients to be on the leading edge of that wave or are we swimming frantically with our clients behind it?

It is a very exciting time to be a career professional. I agree that we can add ‘advocacy’ to our role.

A colleague recently wrote about the effects the oil and gas industry is having on the local community in Alberta. I commented that we had seen something similar in Ottawa during the tech bust.

Are we (career professionals) the ‘canary in the coal mine’ with our first-hand accounts of what is going wrong/right with the business, HR and the policies affecting our clients?

I too believe there are policies that need to be altered, strengthened and developed to better support our labour market (and the people within it).

I don’t have an answer to the question about a vision and a plan just yet, but I anticipate one. I see career professionals like yourself, Sharon Graham, Lisa Taylor, to name a few, asking these poignant questions and stirring up an interest in each of us to take up the challenge of collaborating on a shared vision.

I know that I am not Canadian – but these articles certainly have me thinking. It is always good to see another country’s perspective.

My vision for career development includes core career development courses, age appropriate, starting in the elementary school system. The question to answer is: “What will you do to change the world and make it a better place?” instead of “What will you do when you grow up?”
My vision includes career development practitioners becoming a regulated profession.
My vision includes career development practitioners being used as often as a doctor, dentist, massage therapist being used. Not reactively, but proactively.