State of the Nation 2010


6. Digest of Indicators

6.3 Talent Indicators

A successful innovation system requires a mix of factors including individuals who have the necessary skills to spur growth and development. The indicators in this section track efforts to nurture talent at all levels from secondary school to attracting and maintaining connections with world-class researchers. This section also includes some best practices in deploying talent.

Canada faces twin demographic challenges of an aging population and declining birth rate. Fewer individuals participating in the labour force will support a relatively larger group of retired citizens who will live longer lives. This trend, coupled with more complex interdisciplinary innovation processes, poses new challenges and opportunities for Canada in developing its pool of Highly Qualified People (HQP). Immigration and training policies can assist in enhancing the pool of people with needed skills.

The State of the Nation 2008 report identified some areas where Canada was excelling, but also some gaps and emerging trends. The 2008 report noted Canadian primary school children placed third in the world in terms of the OECD's Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2006 science scores. Canada has a highly educated population, and in 2006, 47 percent of the adult population (aged 25–64) attained a university or college education; the highest among OECD countries.129 In terms of percentage of the population with a university education, Canada ranked sixth in the world. These trends have translated into an internationally recognized strong talent pool. Many of the results tracked in the talent section of the State of the Nation 2008 report, where updated data were available, have not changed significantly for the State of the Nation 2010 report — though relative to other countries — Canada has lost some ground as other countries have made gains.

6.3.1 Science, Math, Reading Skills of 15 Year-Olds

Every three years the OECD's PISA measures the abilities of 15 year-olds in reading, math and science. In 2006, Canadian 15 year-olds scored comparatively high when ranked against their international counterparts, ranking third with only Finland and Hong Kong (China) scoring better.

PISA 2009 results released in 2010, demonstrate that Canadian 15-year-old students continue to perform well internationally and have strong skill sets in reading, mathematics and sciences (Figure 29). While Canada continues to be ranked near the top in the OECD in each of these skill sets, Canada's scores have remained stable between 2000 and 2009 and its relative ranking declined in all three assessment domains in 2009. This decline can be attributed to improvements in the performance of other countries, and the introduction of Shanghai (China) and Singapore, which had high performance levels.

Figure 29: PISA Science, Mathematics and Reading Scores (Selected from Top 25 by 2009 Average Reading Score)
  Average Reading Score On the Reading Subscales Average Math Scale Average Science Scale
Access and Retrieve Integrate and Interpret Reflect and Evaluate Continuous Texts Non-Continuous Texts

Note: Rank for each indicator is given in brackets.

Source: OECD (2010): PISA 2009 Results: What Students Know and Can Do: Student Performance in Reading, Mathematics and Science (Volume I).

Shanghai –
China
556 (1) 549 (1) 558 (1) 557 (1) 564 (1) 539 (2) 600 (1) 575 (1)
Korea 539 (2) 542 (2) 541 (2) 542 (2) 538 (2) 542 (1) 546 (4) 538 (6)
Finland 536 (3) 532 (3) 538 (3) 536 (4) 535 (4) 535 (4) 541 (6) 554 (2)
Hong Kong –
China
533 (4) 530 (5) 530 (4) 540 (3) 538 (3) 522 (8) 555 (3) 549 (3)
Singapore 526 (5) 526 (6) 525 (5) 529 (7) 522 (6) 539 (3) 562 (2) 542 (4)
Canada 524 (6) 517 (9) 522 (6) 535 (5) 524 (5) 527 (6) 527 (10) 529 (8)
Japan 520 (8) 530 (4) 520 (7) 521 (9) 520 (7) 518 (9) 529 (9) 539 (5)
Australia 515 (9) 513 (11) 513 (9) 523 (8) 513 (9) 524 (7) 514 (15) 527 (10)
Netherlands 508 (10) 519 (8) 504 (10) 510 (11) 506 (10) 514 (10) 526 (11) 522 (11)
Norway 503 (12) 512 (12) 502 (14) 505 (13) 505 (11) 498 (21) 498 (21) 500 (25)
United States 500 (17) 492 (25) 495 (22) 512 (10) 500 (15) 503 (16) 487 (31) 502 (23)
Sweden 497 (19) 505 (16) 494 (23) 502 (17) 499 (16) 498 (20) 494 (26) 495 (29)
Germany 497 (20) 501 (20) 501 (16) 491 (27) 496 (23) 497 (22) 513 (16) 520 (13)
France 496 (22) 492 (26) 497 (20) 495 (23) 492 (25) 498 (19) 497 (22) 498 (27)
United Kingdom 494 (25) 491 (28) 491 (26) 503 (14) 492 (27) 506 (14) 492 (28) 514 (16)

Further analysis of PISA 2006 data was also released in 2010, which correlated computer use and PISA science scores. Data findings identified that students who have been using a computer for a longer time received higher science scores than their peers (Figure 30).

Figure 30: Length of Time Students Have Been Using a Computer and Mean Programme for International Student Assessment Science Score, 2006

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6.3.2 Pursuing Formal Education (15 to 19 Year-Olds)

Enrolment rates of 15 to 19 year-olds provide an indicator of participation in upper secondary education. Since 1995 there has been an average increase of 8 percentage points, from 74 percent in 1995 to 82 percent in 2008, of 15 to 19 year-olds enrolled in education in OECD countries. In Canada, 80 percent of youth aged 15 to 19 were pursuing a formal education in 2008. This result was slightly lower than the OECD average and has remained unchanged since 1995.

Statistics Canada noted provincial and territorial differences. The proportion of youth aged 15 to 19 no longer in formal education ranged from 14 percent in New Brunswick to 26 percent in Alberta. Data for the territories ranged from 25 percent to 34 percent.130

6.3.3 Share of the Population with Post-Secondary Education

The share of the population with a tertiary education is regarded as an indicator of a country's supply of advanced skills, which can contribute to productivity gains, innovation and growth.131 As shown in Figure 31, in 2008, Canada continued to rank first in the educational attainment of its adult population (aged 25–64).132, 133

Figure 31: Percentage of 25 to 64 Year-Old Population with Tertiary Education, Top 12 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Countries, 2008

6.3.4 College and University Graduation Rates

Graduation from a college or university program provides individuals with a package of skills and knowledge. In Canada the graduation rate of college students, at 29.6 percent, is much higher than the OECD average of 10 percent. As shown in Figure 32, although some advances have been made since 2000, first-time bachelor's degree graduation rates in Canada were 34 percent in 2008, which remains lower than the OECD average of 38 percent.134

Figure 32: Graduation Rates from Tertiary Education (1995, 2000, 2008)

Seeking Information by Questioning

Inquiry-based learning is an innovative method of teaching that allows students to question their way towards useful findings and solutions through experimentation and the accumulation of data. Students learn how to effectively problem-solve rather than simply 'memorize the facts.' While there are variants of the method of inquiry-based learning, a global curriculum is in practice in many countries. Individual schools and networks of schools in Canada are increasingly adopting inquiry-based learning programs. 

Smarter Science is a framework for teaching and learning science in grades 1–12 and for developing the skills of inquiry, creativity, and innovation in a meaningful and engaging manner. The framework enables teachers to develop classroom activities for students that reflect the investigative, creative and social nature of science for any curriculum unit. Smarter Science was piloted in 50 schools in Ontario between 2006 and 2010 and is now part of Youth Science Canada's program for engaging youth in inquiry and critical thinking through science. In 2011 the organization will celebrate 50 years of developing and promoting Canadian youth science and technology.

Calgary-based Galileo Educational Network is another non-profit organization promoting inquiry-based learning. Through research and the creation of 21st Century learning environments, Galileo educators have influenced curriculum and classroom delivery both internationally and across Canada. Teaching for deeper understanding in all classroom subjects is a primary goal. This is accomplished by supporting new and experienced teachers and leaders through individualized professional development. The result is an educational environment where digital technologies are used in inquiry-based projects, allowing for students to learn in creative and thoughtful ways.

Non-completion of a degree does not mean skills and competencies acquired are lost or not valued by the labour market. In addition, students who do not complete a program may leave, gain employment and then decide to continue their studies at a later date. Data also capture enrolments of individuals, such as part-time students, who enter a program to improve knowledge and skill levels.

6.3.5 Science and Engineering Education for Growth and Prosperity

Recent efforts to boost science and engineering skills in Canada have resulted in significant gains. According to newly released data shown in Figure 33, from 2005 to 2008, there was a 13 percent increase in the number of undergraduate degrees, with a 28 percent and 9.1 percent increase in science and engineering graduates respectively.135

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Figure 33: Selected OECD Countries by Total Number of Degrees Granted in Tertiary Science, Engineering, and All Fields of Study for 2008; and Percentage Change from 2005 to 2008

Country

Science

Engineering

All Fields of Study

Number of Degrees

2008

Growth from

2005 to 2008

Number of Degrees

2008

Growth from

2005 to 2008

Number of Degrees

2008

Growth from

2005 to 2008

Source: Data compiled by STIC Secretariat based on data from OECD.stat, "Graduates by Field of Study."

United States

190,987

1.2

134,351

3.5

2,279,805

8.5

Japan

28,771

1.9

125,934

-1.7

654,768

2.8

United Kingdom

68,123

-3.0

45,879

11.9

520,117

7.8

France

51,973

-20.9

53,781

-1.0

401,421

-11.5

Mexico

40,464

2.1

56,013

9.7

392,783

10.5

Korea

37,122

16.2

90,150

12.0

388,128

30.6

Germany

54,074

79.1

43,417

21.3

344,309

60.8

Australia

26,567

-11.1

16,077

1.3

230,878

3.4

Canada

28,372

28.0

18,241

9.1

222,541

13.0

Netherlands

7,373

-1.4

8,947

6.7

121,014

16.6

Finland

6,619

118.5

8,700

9.6

58,072

56.3

Sweden

2,969

-17.3

7,963

-11.9

49,929

0.9

Figure 34 shows that since 1992 in Canada, there has been an increase in enrolments and degrees granted in physical and life sciences, and architecture and engineering related programs, while math, computer and information sciences program enrolments and degrees granted have been decreasing since 2001. This decrease is likely in response to the high-technology industry boom and decline in North America in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Figure 34: Annual Number of Persons Enrolled and Degrees Granted in Canadian University Undergraduate Science, Engineering, Math, Computer, Information Sciences and Related Programs

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6.3.6 Information and Communications Technologies Skills; Access and Use of ICT

Canada has strengths in information and communications technologies (ICT) skills, access and use among the general population. Access and skills are pre-conditions to ICT use. According to the International Telecommunication Union,136 while Canada ranked only 18th, 22nd, and 20th respectively for access, skills and use in 2008 amongst 159 countries, particular sub-components were higher for Canada. For example, for ICT skills — which include adult literacy rates, secondary gross enrolment ratio, and tertiary gross enrolment ratio — the Canadian ICT skills index rating was 8.65 compared to the first-placed Republic of Korea at 9.84. For the components of ICT use, Canada ranked 11th for Internet users per 100 inhabitants, 10th for fixed broadband Internet subscribers per 100 inhabitants, and 56th for mobile broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants.

According to Statistics Canada's Canadian Internet Use Survey of 2009, 80 percent of Canadians aged 16 and older, or 21.7 million people, used the Internet for personal reasons. This is up from 73 percent in 2007 when the survey was last conducted.137

R&D Sub-Priority: New Media, Animation, Games

Ryerson University's Digital Media Zone

Ryerson University's Digital Media Zone

Inspiring Young Entrepreneurs to Innovate

Strengthening Canada's digital media industries

The Digital Media Zone (DMZ) at Ryerson University is a multidisciplinary workplace designed for entrepreneurship. The DMZ provides the environment for digitally-inspired ideas with sound business plans to incubate and accelerate into market-ready products, services or solutions. It is unique in the way it cultivates the concept of being a company within a company. Participants benefit from resources such as StartMeUp, a program created by Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE Ryerson), that nurtures entrepreneurial success by giving new business creators information and advice on business planning, funding, patents, marketing and more. The DMZ has been open since early 2010. Business projects range from digital technology fields including mobile/web applications to social media, virtual reality, 3-D, gaming and interactive marketing.

6.3.7 Education for Entrepreneurial Success

Entrepreneurship helps create the economy builders of the future. Educational institutions can offer a training ground to foster entrepreneurship, and some institutions have been successful at integrating training and mentorship activities into their program offerings in order to promote student entrepreneurial results.

6.3.8 PhDs — Country Comparisons138

Knowledge economies rely on a highly-skilled workforce and a PhD represents the height of academic achievement. The number of doctoral degrees is also an indicator of the labour force potential to engage in cutting-edge research and training the next generation. Relative to other countries, Canada produces fewer doctoral graduates per million population. Since State of the Nation 2008, Canada has slipped from 20th to 23rd when compared to other OECD countries (Figure 35).

Figure 35: Graduates of Doctoral (Advanced Research) Programs per Million Population139

State of the Nation 2008 reported data from 2005, and since then there has been a significant increase in the number of doctoral (advanced research program) degrees granted by Canadian universities and percentage growth has outpaced other countries (Figure 36). The percentage increase from 2005–08 in Canada surpassed comparator countries in growth of science doctoral degrees (63.7 percent) and was second to Sweden in growth of engineering doctoral degrees (42.1 percent).

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Figure 36: Total Number of Degrees Granted in Doctoral (Advanced Research) Programs, 2008
Country

Science

Engineering

All Fields of Study

Number of Degrees

2008

Growth from

2005 to 2008

Number of Degrees

2008

Growth from

2005 to 2008

Number of Degrees

2008

Growth from

2005 to 2008

Source: Data compiled by STIC Secretariat based on data from OECD. stat, "Graduates by Field of Study."

United States

14,780

23.3

8,366

23.4

63,712

21.1

Germany

6,954

3.9

2,541

8.4

25,604

-1.3

United Kingdom

4,910

-1.7

2,358

4.7

16,606

5.2

Japan

2,652

10.3

3,636

8.8

16,296

6.6

France

5,370

21.1

1,274

35.4

11,309

18.1

Korea

954

7.8

2,242

-1.4

9,369

10.9

Australia

1,530

23.3

846

33.0

5,749

17.7

Canada

1,704

63.7

891

42.1

4,827

17.3

Sweden

842

44.7

962

53.7

3,625

30.5

Mexico

593

11.7

340

39.3

3,498

43.8

Switzerland

977

-0.2

395

16.2

3,426

3.7

Netherlands

489

-3.7

563

1.1

3,214

11.6

Finland

415

1.2

380

-1.6

1,951

-0.3

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6.3.9 Enrolment and Graduation in Science-Based Doctoral Programs by Canadian Students

The number of Canadians enrolled and graduating from science-based doctoral programs in Canadian universities has been increasing steadily in most programs since 1999 (Figure 37).

Figure 37: Doctoral Students Who Were Canadian Residents and Enrolled in Canadian University Science-Based Programs

6.3.10 Unemployment Rates of Doctorate Holders

More Canadians are graduating from science and engineering doctoral programs; however, in 2006 Canada had higher levels of unemployment rates of doctorate holders by field of science when compared to other countries (Figure 38).140

Figure 38: 2006 Unemployment Rates of Doctorate Holders by Field of Science

6.3.11 Internships and Co-ops for Enhanced Opportunities

Internship and co-op programs provide valuable experiences for students to enhance their employment opportunities and mitigate capacity issues within organizations. Recently released research has also identified that co-op students: typically earn more than non-co-op students; were in more prestigious jobs than their non-co-op peers; and assessed themselves as having better computing, mathematical and problem-solving skills. These results may point to benefits for both individuals who pursue co-op and internship programs and organizations who participate in such programs.141

The Canadian Association for Co-operative Education (CAFCE) is comprised of 74 member institutions across Canada that have worked in partnership since 1973. CAFCE is currently developing a statistical database on co-op enrolments covering its members with plans to release findings in the spring of 2011.

6.3.12 Returns on Obtaining Post-Secondary Education

The private rate of return to an individual for obtaining a tertiary education in Canada is shown in Figure 39 and is slightly lower but comparable to the OECD average. 

Figure 39: Private Internal Rate of Return for an Individual Obtaining Tertiary Education as Part of Initial Education, 2006

The private internal rate of return represents a measure of the returns obtained, over time, relative to the costs of the initial investment in education and is equal to the discount rate that equalizes the costs of education during the period of study to the gains from education thereafter.

When compared internationally, Canadian economic returns data may be under-represented as Canadian tertiary education graduate statistics include university, college, and also post-secondary programs with a shorter duration (e.g., CEGEP in Quebec, and short career training or development programs).

Canada found that graduates from university programs earned more, 75 percent more on average, than high school or trade/vocational program graduates.142

Employment prospects also increase with education level. In 2008, the employment rate for Canadians 25 to 64 who had not completed high school was 58 percent, compared with 83 percent for college and university graduates.143

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6.3.13 Attracting Great Talent to Canada

Canada is one of the top destinations in the world for skilled immigrants and top-ranked foreign students. Canada continues to attract a significant share of foreign students in the world. The percentage of foreign students enrolled in Canada, when compared to total foreign student enrolments internationally, has remained fairly stable since 2000, though there has been a slight increase to 5.5 percent (2008), from 5.1 percent (2006) as reported in State of the Nation 2008.144, 145

Research excellence is defined at an international level, and the competition for research talent is global. As a mid-sized, open, trading economy, Canada's orientation must be global if it is to access scientific knowledge generated outside our borders.

Since 2008, Canada has created a number of programs that strive to put talented Canadians in the company of the best from around the world. These programs have included creating:

  • The Vanier (Canada Graduate) Scholarships Program in 2008, which offers three year scholarships of $50,000 per year, tax free, to top Canadian and international doctoral students.
  • The Canada Excellence Research Chairs (CERC) program was created in 2008 to attract and retain the world's most accomplished and promising researchers to establish ambitious research programs at Canadian universities in Canada's R&D priority and sub-priority areas. Chairs were identified through a highly competitive two-phase process. In May 2010, 19 inaugural recipients were announced. For each Chair, universities will receive up to $10 million over seven years to support chair holders and their research teams.
  • The Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships Program, launched in July 2010, provides $45 million over five years to attract and retain top-level talent to Canada. At a steady state, 140 fellowships will be supported annually, with 70 new awards each year. Awards are tenable for two years, with a value of $70,000 per year. These fellowships are open to both Canadian and international researchers who have recently completed a PhD, PhD-equivalent or health professional degree, and up to 25 percent of Canadian awardees are eligible to go to a foreign research institution.
  • In November 2010, the Ontario provincial government announced that it will be offering full scholarships for foreign PhD candidates, each worth $40,000 annually for four years. Starting in 2011–12, scholarships will be divided among the province's universities, and funded two thirds by the government and one third by the various educational institutions.

Canada — A Magnet for Talent

Canada Excellence Research Chairs

Nineteen world-leading international university researchers have chosen to pursue their research in Canada, thereby providing Canadian researchers the opportunity to learn and make new discoveries.

The Canada Excellence Research Chairs (CERC) program, created by the Government of Canada, is helping to position Canada as a global centre of excellence in research and higher learning. The cutting-edge research conducted by these global leaders in Canada's R&D priority and sub-priority areas, from neuroscience to water security, energy production and information processing, spur innovation and contribute positively to Canada's competitiveness and future prosperity.

The CERC program significantly adds to the hundreds of federally-funded Canada Research Chairs who have already transformed Canadian research. Besides drawing international talent to Canada, the program brings many important benefits to Canada's universities and to all Canadians, preparing Canada's next generation of graduates — master's, doctoral and post-doctorate students, including the finest foreign students. It is forging strong international partnerships in research and business.

The ultimate goal of the program is to nurture Canada's own, homegrown research stars, enrich the country's tradition of science and innovation, and raise productivity and living standards.

Canada Excellence Research Chairs
R&D Priority and
Sub-Priority Area

Canada Excellence Research Chair

Researcher

Came from

Environment

Water

Ecohydrology —
University of Waterloo

Philippe Van Cappellen

Georgia Institute of Technology; Utrecht University, Netherlands

Aquatic Epidemiology — University of Prince
Edward Island

Ian A. Gardner

UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine; the University of
California, USA

Ocean Science and Technology —
Dalhousie University

Douglas Wallace

Leibniz Institute of
Marine Sciences, Germany

Water Security — University of Saskatchewan

Howard Wheater

Imperial College London,
United Kingdom

Cleaner extracting, processing, utilizing hydrocarbons

Hybrid Powertrain — McMaster University

Ali Emadi

Electric Power and Power Electronics Centre at the Illinois Institute of Technology, USA

Natural Resources and Energy

Energy production in the oil sands

Oil Sands Molecular Engineering — University
of Alberta

Thomas Thundat

University of Tennessee, USA; University of Burgundy, France

Arctic

Remote Sensing of Canada's New Arctic Frontier — Université Laval

Marcel Babin

Laboratoire d'Océanographie de Villefranche, France

Arctic Resources — University of Alberta

D. Graham Pearson

Durham University, United Kingdom

Arctic Geomicrobiology and Climate Change — University of Manitoba

Søren Rysgaard

University of Southern Denmark; Climate Research Center, Greenland

Health and Life Sciences

Neuroscience

Neurogenetics
and Translational
Neuroscience — University of British Columbia

Matthew Farrer

Mayo Clinic, USA

Cognitive Neuroscience and Imaging — The University of Western Ontario

Adrian Owen

Medical Research Council's Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit in Cambridge, United Kingdom

Neuroscience; Health in an aging population

Structural Neurobiology — University of Toronto

Oliver Ernst

Charité - Universitätsmedizin, Germany

Health in an
aging population

Virology —
University of Alberta

Michael Houghton

Epiphany Biosciences, USA

Regenerative medicine; Health in an aging population; Neuroscience; Biomedical engineering and medical technologies

Diabetes — University 
of Alberta

Patrik Rorsman

University of Oxford, United Kingdom

Biomedical engineering and medical technologies

Integrative Biology — University of Toronto

Frederick Roth

Harvard Medical School, USA

Information and Communications Technologies (ICT)

Broadband networks; Telecommunications equipment

Quantum Nonlinear
Optics — University
of Ottawa

Robert W. Boyd

University of Rochester, USA

New media, animation and games; Wireless networks and services; Broadband networks; Telecommunications equipment

Quantum Information Processing — University
of Waterloo

David Cory

Massachusetts Institute
of Technology, USA

Broadband networks; Telecommunications equipment

Enabling Photonic Innovations for Information and Communication — Université Laval

Younès Messaddeq

Universidade Estadual Paulista, Brazil

New media, animation and games; Telecommunications equipment

Quantum Signal Processing — Université de Sherbrooke

Bertrand Reulet

Laboratoire de physique des solides at the Université Paris-Sud XI, France

These programs have received international attention and resulted in attracting some of the best researchers in the world to Canada, as shown above. The targeted nature of these programs will help promote research impact on an internationally competitive basis throughout Canada.

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6.3.14 Education: A Lifelong Pursuit

Adult literacy scores remain an area where it has been difficult to make progress in Canada. The Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) is a multi-cycle international program of assessment of adult skills and competencies initiated by the OECD that will build upon testing completed in 2003 for the International Adult Literacy and Skills Survey (IALSS). The IALSS tracked the knowledge and skills of 16–65 year-old Canadians in prose and document literacy, numeracy and problem solving. The OECD, in coordination with Statistics Canada, will initiate PIAAC data collection in 2011, and findings will be reported in 2013. Four areas of competence will be assessed in the PIAAC: problem-solving in a technology-rich environment; literacy; reading component measures; and numeracy.

In 2008, organizations spent an average of $787 per employee on training, learning and development (TLD) with two thirds of full-time employees taking training. This is up from 2006, when $699 per employee was spent, but still down from 1996 when the investment per employee was $842. Changes are also taking place in the type of learning employees are provided with and informal learning now accounts for 56 percent of learning, which is up significantly from 2004.146

An aging population, and growth in the immigrant labour force, may also further require increasing use of non-traditional sources of skill development and a life-long approach to learning. Employers and training providers may need to adopt new approaches for specific segments of the labour force. In terms of potential gaps in the future a recent report by the Conference Board of Canada has identified that "though organizations use TLD to deal with skills shortages, few see it as a tool to retain and retrain mature workers or integrate new Canadians into their workforce."147

New trends in lifelong learning also have the potential to change enrolment patterns in universities, colleges and other educational institutions in Canada. Students coming out of secondary education may gradually cease to be the primary clientele of tertiary education institutions. Universities and colleges may need to organize themselves to accommodate the learning and training needs of a very diverse clientele, which may include: working, mature, stay-at-home, travelling, part-time, day, night, and weekend students. The U.S. is already noticing this change. Almost half of the student population in the U.S. consists of mature and part-time students, which is a dramatic shift from the previous generation.148

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6.3.15 Human Resources in Science and Technology

Human resources in science and technology (HRST) is defined as persons having graduated at the tertiary level of education or employed in a science and technology occupation for which a high qualification is normally required and the innovation potential is high. The international comparison of HRST share in the labour force presented in Figure 40 utilizes a broad classification of HRST, which includes all professionals, technicians, and similar occupations, and shows that these employees are more concentrated in services than in manufacturing.149 In addition, Figure 41 demonstrates that growth in HRST employment in Canada has increased for services and manufacturing industries.

Figure 40: Share of Human Resources in Science and Technology Employees by Industry, 2007

Figure 41: Growth of Human Resources in Science and Technology Employees by Industry, 1997 to 2007

Investing in Technology and Training

MW Canada Ltd in Cambridge encourages research and development and staff education and training to increase productivity and business.

MW Canada Ltd in Cambridge encourages research and development and staff education and training to increase productivity and business.

MW Canada Ltd in Cambridge, Ontario reinvented itself over the last few years by focusing on engineered materials for customer-specific end uses. The company produces decorative and functional materials for the home decorative and institutional contract markets. Advanced solutions and value-added properties are key to satisfying their customers' needs. Combining materials to get the desired results requires new ways of thinking, and new technologies. Culture change, comprehensive training initiatives, innovation, R&D and commercialization are the road to the future.

A strategic decision was made in 2005 when MW Canada's training room "The ER" (Education Room) was constructed with the help of the Textiles Human Resources Council (THRC). The investment in upgrading the skills of employees to ensure they have the technical expertise for the future, made good business sense. The company encourages education and training initiatives that position employees in line with company strategy. There is a commitment to investing in the current workforce, people who know the history, and are ready to embrace the future.

Over the past five years, MW Canada has been building training programs both in-house, and in partnership with external organizations such as The Literacy Group of Waterloo Region. A full-time R&D position was created in 2009 to coordinate outside proprietary initiatives. The company is currently working on R&D projects with universities on the development of: new solar materials, energy storage materials, self-cleaning and antibacterial finishes. Research is also being done into reflective materials, insulating materials, and materials created using nanotechnology techniques.

All of these projects are long term and require ongoing funding. Company, academic, community and government partnerships are critical to the collective success of these projects.

6.3.16 Business Researchers

The OECD defines researchers as professionals engaged in the conception and creation of new knowledge, products, processes, methods and systems who are directly involved in the management of projects. The average annual growth rate in the number of business researchers from 1997 to 2005 was just under 6 percent in Canada (Figure 42).

Figure 42: Researchers, 2007 and Growth of Business Researchers, 1997 to 2007

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6.3.17 Making Use of Highly Skilled People to Improve Productivity Growth

The share of the population with a university education (i.e., highly skilled people) is regarded as an indicator of a country's supply of innovative talent. The employment of highly skilled people is central to firms using the most advanced technologies and creating innovative products, services, and putting in place the best organizational practices. Canadian firms make less use of highly skilled people than the United States but more than the European Union (Figure 43). Moreover, data collection differences may overestimate the degree to which Canadian companies use highly skilled people.150

Figure 43: Share of Total Hours Worked by Skill Level, Canada, United States and EU15ex*, 2004

Industry or SECTOR

Canada

United States

EU15ex

High Skill

Medium Skill

High Skill

Medium Skill

High Skill

Medium Skill

* EU15ex consists of Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom.

Source: Compilation by STIC Secretariat based on data from EU KLEMS. Return to text

GOODS SECTOR

AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY, FISHING AND HUNTING SECTOR

5.22

81.14

15.03

61.55

3.70

61.59

MINING AND
QUARRYING SECTOR

13.31

84.55

20.57

66.60

11.83

69.76

UTILITIES SECTOR

20.87

78.65

32.18

64.90

12.78

72.75

CONSTRUCTION SECTOR

6.89

88.48

11.68

66.68

4.72

66.12

MANUFACTURING SECTOR

15.72

79.39

23.15

63.01

9.04

68.95

SERVICES SECTOR

Sale, maintenance and repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles; retail sale of fuel industries

4.65

89.73

11.30

74.29

6.14

71.53

Wholesale trade and commission trade, except of motor vehicles and motorcycles industries

17.79

79.95

29.74

62.49

6.39

72.37

Retail trade, except of motor vehicles and motorcycles; repair
of household goods industries

11.41

85.75

20.26

68.92

6.01

70.33

Hotels and restaurants industries

9.44

86.02

12.90

65.21

5.10

69.57

Transport and storage industries

9.69

85.69

18.54

69.64

5.95

71.90

Post and telecommunications industries

19.88

78.85

42.04

56.43

12.06

71.13

Financial intermediation industries

32.60

66.98

44.35

53.91

22.56

71.10

Real estate activities industries

21.14

76.14

37.82

56.54

26.12

55.47

Renting of M&E and other business activities industries

45.50

53.98

47.31

46.75

29.98

54.27

Public administration and defence; compulsory social security industries

40.22

58.79

30.71

66.16

19.68

67.58

Education industries

41.57

57.45

68.54

29.05

47.52

44.32

Health and social work industries

35.65

62.78

39.50

55.83

19.90

66.30

Other community, social and personal services industries

23.60

73.68

32.43

58.99

14.75

62.38

Private households with employed persons industries

7.86

88.57

8.34

58.31

6.59

72.18

AVERAGE FOR SERVICE SECTOR

22.93

74.60

31.70

58.75

16.34

65.75

             

Average of all Industries
and Sectors

20.16

76.66

28.76

60.28

14.26

66.30

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129OECD (2010), Education at a Glance 2009. Return to text

130 – Statistics Canada, Education indicators in Canada: An international perspective, September 7, 2010. Return to text

131 – Leitch Review of Skills, Prosperity for all in the global economy — world class skills, December 2006. p. 8. Return to text

132OECD (2010), Education at a Glance 2009. Return to text

133 – Tertiary education is defined as programs that are classified under the International Standard Classification of Education's (ISCED) levels 5A, 5B and 6. Level 5A is considered to be more theory-based and designed to train students for their entry into advanced research programs and high-skill professions. Level 5B programs focus more on practical skills. Level 6 is the second stage of tertiary education and it includes advanced studies and programs that require original research. Due to some Labour Force Survey (LFS) limitations, ISCED 5A and 6 cannot be disentangled in Canada. The proportion recorded for tertiary-type B programs (ISCED level 5B) may be somewhat overestimated because this category includes, for example, some Collège d'enseignement général et professionnel (CEGEP) or college university transfer program graduates which, under the international system, would be placed in ISCED level 4 (programs that straddle the boundary between upper-secondary and post-secondary education). Return to text

134 – Statistics Canada, Education indicators in Canada: An international perspective, 2010. Return to text

135 – In 2003, Ontario eliminated the Ontario Academic Credit (OAC) program, or fifth year of secondary education, resulting in a "double cohort" graduating class. Although undergraduate enrolment and graduation trends have been increasing in Canada, the policy change in Ontario may account for some of the increase in 2008. Return to text

136 – International Telecommunications Union, Measuring the Information Society 2010, Switzerland, 2010. Return to text

137 – Statistics Canada, Canadian Internet Use Survey, 2009. Return to text

138 – Labelled "advanced research programmes" by the OECD or ISCED level 6. Return to text

139State of the Nation 2008 reported on OECD, Science, Technology and Industry Outlook, 2006 data, which referenced 2000/2002 PhD graduate data. The OECD Education Database and OECD, Science, Technology and Industry Scoreboard 2009 now reference 'Advanced Research Programs.' Return to text

140OECD (2010), Science, Technology and Industry Working Papers, Careers of Doctorate Holders: Employment and Mobility Patterns. Return to text

141 – M. Drysdale, J. Goyder and A. Cardy, The Transition from University to the Labour Market: The Role of Cooperative Education – Phase 3, presentation made at the Cooperative Education and Internship Association (CEIA) Annual Conference, Portland, USA (April 20, 2009). Return to text

142, 143 – Statistics Canada, Education Indicators in Canada: An International Perspective, 2010. Return to text

144OECD (2010), Education at a Glance 2009. Return to text

145 – Graduate data are more difficult to track, which means that between 25–100 students per year in each program are not identified as either "Canadian" or "International" students. In 2008, information on socio-demographic characteristics was unknown for a large number of students in Ontario. This may account for the apparent decrease in the number of Canadian PhD graduates. The total number of PhD graduates has been increasing in nearly all science-based programs since 1999. Return to text

146 – Conference Board of Canada, How Canada Performs: A Report Card on Canada, June 2007. Return to text

147 – Conference Board of Canada, How Canada Performs: A Report Card on Canada, June 2007, p. I. Return to text

148 – Tamara Knighton, Filsan Hujaleh, Joe Iacampo and Gugsa Werkneh, Lifelong Learning Among Canadians Aged 18 to 64 Years: First Results from the 2008 Access and Support to Education and Training Survey, 2009. Return to text

149 – The classification and chart come from the OECD's Science, Technology and Industry Outlook 2010, and are based on the International Standard Classification for Occupations-88 (ISCO-88). The definition includes all professionals, technicians and related occupations and is consequently much broader than what would usually be considered occupations involved in science and technology. For example, police, insurance salespeople, travel agents, and accountants are included in this definition, as are engineers, chemists, and robotic equipment controllers. Return to text

150 – The EU KLEMs database uses the following definitions: High skill — College graduate and above; Medium skill — High school and some years of college (but not completed); Low skill — Less then high school and some years of high school (but not completed). Due to slight differences in national classifications international comparability may be affected. When comparing, for example, Canadian, U.S. and EU data there may be an underestimation of 'high skilled' data from the EU. Return to text