Workforce and the building of workforce is one of the challenges of the current business landscape. Navigating the ecosystem for both employers and prospective employees is not always easy. The Workforce Development Board – Local Planning Council (WDB/LEPC) for Peterborough, Northumberland, Haliburton, and Kawartha Lakes has recently released a couple of products to help provide a narrative for our region. One is an Analysis of the Local Labour Supply and the other is a video that outlines the local ecosystem of employment services.
In the Labour Supply report, the WDB references a survey by the “Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) that indicated that 40% of employers in Ontario have had difficulty hiring over the previous 12 months. Small and medium-sized enterprises are most affected with aging populations, low participation rates, and seasonal work being potential drivers.
All are concerns in the WDB/LEPC region. Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) has developed the Canadian Occupational Projection System (COPS) to project future workforce trends. According to these projections, a national labour shortage is expected between 2017-2023. In total, there will be approximately 116,700 more job openings than job seekers. The sectors that will be most affected include the skilled trades, business and finance, and healthcare.”
The WDB developed eight recommendations in the following areas:
Attracting/Retaining Experience Workers
There are three recommendations identified here including
Recruiting from Outside your Local Business Area which suggests considering applications from people who have the skills and are interested in your community or already have ties to the community but are not living in the area.
Utilizing the Skills of Economic Immigrants can also be an untapped resource and there could be value in exploring and ensuring the credentials and experience match the needs of the employer.
With an aging population Succession Planning is key and companies are not only assessing their workforce needs but also the “actual supply of talent.”
The report identifies two recommendations in the Recent Graduates including asking how employers engage local students and encouraging more connections through experiential learning. Employers may also consider training supports for younger and current employees.
The report also offers recommendations that employers consider New Canadians and use available resources such as those offered through various groups such as the New Canadians Centre to connect with potential employees. There is also encouragement to consider under-utilized workers such as younger workers, displaced older workers Indigenous people, and people living with disabilities.
The final recommendations focus on the need for data sharing of labour market information between organizations to help employers understand the market better.
The second tool for employers and potential employees is a video that is worth watching if you are an employer looking to access the labour pool but are not sure where to start, or are looking for a better understanding of the resources in this space.
WDB says, “The goal of this video is to increase awareness among employers in our region about the range of programs, services, and training supports available to them, as well as to provide employers with information about our local employment services and training network.”
You can find it on their website wdb.ca
And we’ll leave you with a few Q4 facts on the labour market in Peterborough. Below are the number of online postings in the fourth quarter of 2019. These postings may or may not be filled, but you can see a direct correlation to the predicted workforce trends mentioned earlier in this article. Many of the postings are in health care and skilled trades two of the sectors anticipated to be impacted the most by a labour shortage.