Statement by The Honourable John Manley, President and CEO of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, on this week’s meetings in Charlottetown of federal and provincial ministers responsible for education and employment:

“As Canada’s economy evolves and grows, employers face an increasing need for highly skilled and qualified workers. What is required is a broad national effort to strengthen our country’s education and training systems.

“Canada’s business leaders encourage the federal, provincial and territorial governments to find creative solutions to the labour market challenges that confront employers, employees, students and future generations.

“We urge all levels of government to work together to expand and align our country’s labour-market information systems in ways that will help more people find rewarding and fulfilling careers. Equally important is the need to harmonize apprenticeship programs, a key step in building a more balanced, highly qualified Canadian workforce.

“To ensure a high quality of life for all citizens, it’s time for a new approach and an honest conversation about what’s working and what isn’t working in Canadian education and skills training.”

Founded in 1976, the CCCE is the senior voice of Canada’s business community, representing 150 chief executives and leading entrepreneurs in all sectors and regions of the country. Its member companies collectively employ 1.5 million Canadians and are responsible for most of Canada’s private sector investments, exports, workplace training and research and development.