Manufacturing AUTOMATION

Canadian manufacturers have difficulty finding the right talent, survey says

October 3, 2012
By Manufacturing AUTOMATION

The country’s growing shortage of highly skilled labour is critical, with shortages being felt in the manufacturing, automation and energy and utility industries, according to a new survey by Randstad.

 Findings from Randstad’s latest Global Workmonitor, surveying employees in 32 countries around the world, reveals that Canadian businesses are reporting serious problems finding the workers they need amidst a growing skills shortage.

Jan Hein Bax, president, Randstad Canada said in a statement that many businesses are experiencing difficulties finding skilled workers to meet their specific needs.

“The demographic shift resulting in retirements, a deepening shortfall of skilled workers and the growing mismatch between the skills needed and those available has evolved into an undeniable skills crisis,” he said.

According to survey respondents, two thirds (66 per cent) of Canadian employers have trouble finding the right people for specific jobs. And even more (58 per cent) believe Canadian employers are experiencing problems finding highly qualified people. Additionally, 55 per cent of Canadian employees say they expect a shortage of highly qualified employees within the next three years. While more than half of Canadian respondents also say they expect to see a shortage of staff in specific jobs.

The lack of skilled workers is affecting many of Canada’s sectors, regions and employers, said Bax. “According to our internal figures, Randstad Canada has seen shortages in the manufacturing, automation and energy and utility industries this year,” he explained. “And within these three industries, the Greater Toronto Area, Montreal and Calgary regions specifically experienced difficulties finding Engineering talent. In terms of roles, draftspersons, mechanical engineers and mechanical designers proved to be the roles that were hardest to fill within the above regions and industries,” he said.

The skilled trades industry is also feeling the effects. “In Quebec, in particular, we are seeing a strong demand for machinists, electro mechanics, industrial mechanics, welders, and supervisors in industrial management,” Bax said.

But the skills shortage is a real issue not just in Canada, but all over the world. According to the Workmonitor survey results, globally, almost 60 per cent of respondents say employers have difficulties finding the right person for the job.

According to Bax, the skills shortage is becoming one of the great challenges facing the world of work. “To combat the lack of essential skills, there is a strong need to cultivate continuous learning and employers must invest more into their workforces,” he said. “We need to confront this issue head on in order to improve the productivity of our workforce.”

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