04/12/2015 05:00 EDT | Updated 06/12/2015 01:12 EDT

Big business issues plea for companies to do more workplace training

OTTAWA - Canada's largest companies want employers to put more emphasis on training and making sure their employees' skills are up to date.The Canadian Council of Chief Executives is using a conference in Ottawa on Monday to kick off what it hopes will be a national discussion on the importance of employers developing their workers' skills.The effort is being spearheaded by Elyse Allan, the President and CEO of GE Canada.Allan says Canadian employers must do more to ensure Canadian workers have the education and skills to find and hold down good jobs.She says training is a valuable tool for employers to recruit and keep skilled workers.The council notes a recent Conference Board of Canada study that suggested the average Canadian employer only spends about two-thirds as much as U.S. companies on employee training and education.Canada's largest companies are also looking at ways to help young Canadians make the jump from the classroom to the workplace.A group representing some big Canadian companies and post secondary institutions have announced a roundtable group that will look at ways of helping young Canadians make the transition.