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Skills and Training in the Non-Profit Sector

October 17, 200517 October 2005

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Following reports on job quality and the size, staffing and composition of Canada’s non-profit sector, this report uses a 1999 Statistics Canada survey to examine the incidence of training in non-profit organizations. Similar to the two previous CPRN reports (reviewed in the January 2003 Arts Research Monitor), the area of greatest interest in this study for arts managers is the findings for the “culture, recreation and associations” (CRA) area of the non-profit sector.

Training is an important aspect of job quality and career development. Reports on the cultural sector have found that it is difficult for cultural organizations, given a lack of both time and money, to provide adequate training to their employees. Data in the CPRN report shows that organizations in the culture, recreation and associations area are not very successful in providing training to employees. Only 30.2% of employees in this part of the non-profit sector received some form of training in the year covered by the survey, much lower than other areas of the non-profit sector, where one-half or more of employees received training.

This finding is even more troubling when coupled with the fact that 54.5% of employees of organizations in the CRA area reported that the overall skills requirements of their jobs had increased since the start of their tenure in their position. Similarly, 50.3% of employees reported an increase in the technological complexity of their jobs. These percentages, the highest such percentages among all areas of the non-profit sector, appear to indicate that the culture sector is in a period of transition.

The report makes it clear that non-profit organizations, especially those in the cultural sector, face definite challenges in providing training to their employees. Addressing these challenges is an important part of providing satisfactory working conditions to employees and will have an influence on the sector’s ability to attract and retain high-quality staff.

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