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Engineering shortages lead Ontario job seekers to go where the action is: Study


March 6, 2013
By Manufacturing AUTOMATION

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Job seekers in Ontario should focus their training and job searches towards the engineering field, according to Randstad Canada, a staffing, recruitment, and HR services firm.

Given the importance of job creation for youth in Ontario, officials from Randstad Canada say it’s essential to channel young people entering the workforce into fields such as engineering with high demand for talent.

“It makes sense to encourage youth in Ontario to consider engineering as a worthwhile career option,” said Keith Wark, vice president Central and Eastern Region, Randstad Engineering, said in a statement. “This is a sector that is clearly in need of seasoned professionals as older engineers retire. If we want to develop that pool of talent, we must hire and develop young engineers now.”

The recently released study, Engineering Labour Market in Canada: Projections to 2020, commissioned by Engineers Canada and sponsored by Randstad Engineering, reveals that Canada is facing a short supply of engineers with more than 10 years of experience, and that supply and demand imbalances in the engineering sector are becoming more serious, specifically in Ontario:

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Findings from the labour market report note that resource projects in the north and infrastructure upgrades in most regions drive job creation, and that steady improvements in manufacturing create supply pressures for industrial engineers. Additionally, it notes that resource and infrastructure projects add jobs and create significant supply pressures for mining and civil engineers, while steady improvements in manufacturing create supply pressures for industrial engineers.

Randstad Canada’s own projections see a growing demand for engineers in Ontario’s aerospace sector, which requires a highly skilled workforce to deal with aging commercial fleets that will soon need to be replaced. Demand is also growing for engineers in the construction sector, a result of new infrastructure projects. The growth in construction has resulted in an imbalance in the supply of engineers and other highly skilled workers.

While labour market conditions vary from region to region, Ontario in particular must find ways to strike a balance between retiring skilled engineers, and training incoming graduates and international candidates.

“We are encouraged by the provincial government’s stated commitment to youth employment and its understanding of the needs of Ontario’s labour market, ” said Wark. ”New projects mean great prospects for young engineers, but employers will need to start hiring based on potential instead of just experience, as a way to counterbalance labour shortages.”