Skilled labour remains the top concern of SMEs looking to innovate. As significant funds are already being invested in post-secondary institutions, governments must ensure that these investments translate into actual results for small businesses. The focus should remain on job-ready graduates who are able to fill labour gaps across sectors of the economy.
- Work with the provinces to reform the education system to improve basic skills training, including building job-readiness skills, and to reach out more to the small business community when creating curriculums;
- Better co-operation and coordination with other levels of government, as well as post-secondary institutions, to focus funding on programs linked to the employment market;
- Better communication by governments with small business owners on which programs and services that may be able to assist with training in their business.
- Review existing tax credit programs to promote hiring and retention, and introduce new tax credits such as an EI training credit or EI holiday for youth hiring that recognize the investment in both formal and informal training made by small employers when they expand their payroll;
- Recognize the importance of informal training in small businesses by designing a federal training tax credit based on existing government reporting and filing requirements, such as payroll-based EI;
* For full list of recommendations, see attached CFIB report on SMEs and innovation, Beyond the Big Idea: Redefining and Rethinking the Innovation Agenda