Thank you for the question.
The quick answer to your first question is yes. I would be happy to give some consideration as to the stakeholders that should be consulted as part of the development of a comprehensive labour market strategy so yes, with pleasure.
On the second point, with respect to data, traditionally as a researcher I would always say that more data is always better of course, but when I think about policy, there needs to be some consideration as to the cost and benefits of acquiring new data. This is why in the first instance my proposal on the labour and skill shortages is to leverage and harvest the data that's already there so we can better diagnose the problem.
When I think about that issue, I think about two sources of information. One is about the source of information with respect to people. We have great information on unemployed people across this country. It's very detailed and very granular, and it's from those who are receiving employment insurance. It exists of course. It's individual-level data, so it takes some time to process. We need to be careful with respect to privacy and data quality, but allowing a more streamlined, open access while protecting the privacy of that data will give us great and detailed insights as to the availability of the labour pool across this country.
Right now there is some availability of that data, but it comes with a significant delay. It's very difficult to access but it is there, and I think we should start by leveraging access to that information.
At the same time, we also have very good information on the demand for labour from vacancy surveys through Statistics Canada. Again, there's a wealth of information available on the types of jobs that employers are asking for. Having greater and more open access to that information will give us some insights into the types of jobs that employers are looking for.
I'd start by harnessing and leveraging those two existing datasets.
If asked and pushed with respect to what further data we need, I would again start by seeing what that information would tell us, but to my point about the difference between skills and credentials, right now we continue to lack good information on the types of skills that employers are looking for, which puts us in a difficult place with respect to how we can develop and design training programs that will give individuals those skills. Even the way we collect information today is very much about, I would say, skill level, but in essence we're talking about qualifications and credentials. This is the one area in which we need to be considering where and in what manner we should be collecting better information.