Canada’s place in job sourcing is at risk

A lack of leadership and focus by both public and private sector organizations is threatening to erode Canada’s place as a premier job sourcing destination, says a new report from the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATAAlliance).

The report, titled Sourcing Success and the Canadian Advantage in a Global Competitive Environment, is the result of two years of research studies and consultation with experts in the field. In identifying the challenges and opportunities for Canada to become a global sourcing destination of choice, the report notes that Canada’s branding as a preferred global sourcing destination is slipping, putting in jeopardy the “incredible opportunities” available to the country.

“Over the past two years of study, an often repeated concern was the lack of concentrated effort on behalf of private and public sector organizations to move beyond identifying or acknowledging the need for action, and to commit to making solutions happen,” said Kevin Wennekes, CATAAlliance vice-president of research and author of the report.

Wennekes added that Canada should not be interested in joining a “race to the bottom” of the employment value chain. “These days more firms, especially in the U.S. and U.K., consider outsourcing a higher value-added activity that requires specific knowledge, and countries like Canada that place greater emphasis on people, expertise and engaging in strategic delivery solutions will do better than those that are simply out to deliver a cut-rate service,” he said.

According to Sinclair Stevens, the president of the Commonwealth Advantage, a program designed to promote the growth of Canadian and international business, this report lays the groundwork for productive partnerships with Commonwealth countries. The Commonwealth holds one-third of the world’s workforce, and if we can agree on a strategic plan to build on the strengths of these workers, all of Canada will benefit.

The report’s Action Roadmap is offered as a starting point on a journey to Canadian Global Sourcing success and should serve as a rallying call for Canadian business leaders, knowledge experts, and advocacy groups to bring their weight of experience and resources to bear, to lifting this plan off of the paper and into concrete, measurable actions.

Towards these ends, CATA is holding an invitation-only follow-up conference November 28, 2005 at the National Club in Toronto. It will be here that each of the three main elements of the plan be thoroughly explored and specific strategies adopted by those decision-makers and leaders committed to accountability for their delivery.

The conference attendees will include representatives from the federal and provincial governments, leading academic and research organizations, labour groups, sector councils and key private sector companies of various size and interests.

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