BMO Financial Group

BMO Financial Group
BMO Bank of Montreal

BMO Bank of Montreal

May 25, 2012 10:04 ET

Canadian Businesses Look for Post-Secondary Education When Hiring-BMO Report

Graduates with specialized education in high demand in Canada's knowledge-based economy

- One-third of new hires by Canadian businesses do not require post-secondary education

- 57 per cent of new hires require basic or significant training and experience

- Report shows expectations vary across sectors

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 25, 2012) - As the summer employment season begins across the country, a new report from BMO Bank of Montreal provides good news for students with a post-secondary education, as well as other Canadians who are working to upgrade their education and skills.

The report, released today, reveals:

  • 70 per cent of Canadian businesses are looking for post-secondary education when they are hiring,
  • One-third are seeking job applicants with specialized educational backgrounds.
  • By sector, businesses in the oil/gas, mining, and construction sectors most strongly looked for other specialized post secondary education at 40 per cent,

"Competitiveness, the growing knowledge-based economy and demographic shifts are changing not just the types of jobs being created across the country, but also the skills and educational requirements businesses are looking for in applicants," said Cathy Pin, Vice-President, Commercial Banking, BMO Bank of Montreal. "In fact, many of Canada's most successful and fastest-growing small and medium-sized companies are innovation-focused and depend on their employees' skills and knowledge both to develop new products and services and improve their productivity."

Desired Educational Background

The survey results are consistent with data from Statistics Canada which show a growing demand in the labour market for individuals who hold some form of post-secondary education or training, compared to those who do not. In Canada, from 1990 to 2010, the annual number of jobs filled by post-secondary graduates more than doubled from 1.9 million to 4.4 million, while during the same period job opportunities for Canadians who held a high school diploma (or less) declined by almost 1.3 million.

In the new BMO report, just one third (32 per cent) of businesses surveyed indicated that they will be looking to hire applicants with no post-secondary education or training.

No post-secondary education required 32 % 36 % 31 % 31 %
A college education 22 % 14 % 27 % 21 %
A university education 15 % 16 % 16 % 12 %
Specialized post-secondary education 33 % 37 % 28 % 37 %

Other specialized post-secondary education was strongly cited as a requirement by businesses looking to hire in the western provinces and Atlantic Canada at 37 per cent.

"On average, the better educated you are, the more likely you will find work," said Sal Guatieri, Senior Economist, BMO Capital Markets. "The employment rate for post-secondary graduates was 71 per cent in 2011, compared with 62 per cent for those with just a high school diploma and only 40 per cent for those who did not finish high school."

Need for Training

The BMO survey found that, once on the job, 57 per cent of new hires required basic or significant training and experience.

  • Businesses in Ontario (22 per cent) were more likely to say that their new employees required significant training and guidance compared with those businesses hired in Atlantic Canada (10 per cent).
  • Nationally, businesses said that only one quarter (26 per cent) of recent hires brought a solid foundation of knowledge and skill with them to their new job

The online survey was conducted by Leger Marketing between March 21, 2012 and April 12, 2012, using a sample of 500 Canadian small business owners. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of ±4.38 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

About BMO Financial Group

Established in 1817 as Bank of Montreal, BMO Financial Group is a highly-diversified North American financial services organization. With total assets of $525.5 billion as at April 30, 2012, and more than 47,000 employees, BMO Financial Group provides a broad range of retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and solutions.

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