Back to School

While some may be awaiting a statement from Jack Welch regarding the surprisingly strong U.S. housing starts announced today, who knew a  skilled-labour shortage has hit the B.C. forest industry? To address that shortage, The Vancouver Sun reports here that old sawmills are becoming class rooms. “When industry can’t get the skills that they need, then industry needs to think differently and partner with schools,” says Heather Press, manager of recruitment and organizational development at Tolko.

Expanding on the topic of education, Don Tapscott of the Rotman School of Management in Toronto writes here in The Globe and Mail that a new model of pedagogy needs to be embraced by our universities, deeming the present “broadcast model” flawed.  “Unlike their baby-boomer parents, who grew up as passive recipients of television, today’s youth are shaped by interacting with digital tools and online experiences.”  If they are to compete in a global economy Rotman argues, students “need to inquire, not rely on the professor. They need an animated conversation, not a lecture. They need an interactive education, not a broadcast dating back two or three centuries.”

Perhaps it’s not a stretch to draw parallels here, where another Globe article taps into one small company’s creative approach to finding sales talent, hinting at growing demand for the skills to engage: “In our world and in the current sales world, nobody cares about presentations,” says James Palmer, VP Sales and Marketing with the Great Little Box Company Ltd.


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