Unlocking potential: Breaking down barriers to work across all ages

Labour shortages cost small and medium-sized businesses up to $38 Billion in lost revenue opportunities in 2022. That is why the issue of labour shortages needs to be addressed.

A single policy change will not address this labour shortage pressure, but a collection of them might provide some relief. This report identifies barriers to work for individuals already in Canada and provides targeted solutions based on age groups and drawn from international and domestic best practices to help address them.

For example, to increase workforce participation among youth, governments could increase the prevalence of work-integrated learning in high schools. Among the core-age group, employment insurance program design shouldn’t create disincentives to work, and governments need to facilitate labour mobility across provinces. As for experienced workers, governments should revisit existing tax policy and/or create a tax credit for career extension.