Larry Smith (Econ Prof @uWaterloo) made a very convincing argument about the shift towards self-employment as more of a norm, during his keynote at the CACEE Ontario Conference today.
According to a recent Globe and Mail article, over the past year, “About 449,000 private-sector positions vanished compared with a smaller drop of 55,000 among public employees. At the same time, self-employment rose by 104,000.” Smith cited that today 16% of Canada’s labour force is self-employed compared to 12% in 1976. This is a gradual trend resulting from all sizes of companies outsourcing many functions of their operations to be more lean and adaptable to economic shifts.
His point to the audience of career educators and recruiters was a call to action, to prepare students for the new economic realities that they will be facing. During the Q&A, I asked him which new skills would be required to compete in this new culture of self-employment. This launched him into lengthy response on the imperative to be INNOVATIVE problem solvers. Those who are able to deliver creative solutions will always be in high demand.