New website aims to bridge skills gap dogging Canadian manufacturers

Tuesday February 21, 2012
Written by Manufacturing AUTOMATION
A new online tool connecting skilled workers with employers in Canada's industrial sector is tackling fears of a looming labour crisis that is expected to produce up to 500,000 vacant jobs across the country over the next decade.

Set to launch March 1, iCME.ca is a national website pairing candidate skill sets, education and practical experience with the specific needs of Canadian manufacturers and exporters.

"Finding and retaining qualified employees is the most significant challenge companies will face going forward, both financially and operationally," explains Jayson Myers, president and CEO of Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME), the group spearheading the initiative. "And the gap will not be limited to any one sector. So it's critical that we centralize our efforts to identify and promote these in-demand career opportunities to the next generation of Canada's workforce."

While a majority of these jobs will rely upon skilled tradespeople, including 800,000 alone in Alberta's oil sands by 2030, the growth of global supply chains have created hundreds of new, innovative career paths in manufacturing - from environmental specialists and high-tech product engineers to logistics experts and international trade professionals.

"People and skills are the currency of Canada's new economy," says Caroline Tompkins, president of the Forum for International Trade Training (FITT). "We no longer can afford to do our own thing. We need to work together on developing long-term, tangible solutions, and translate good intentions into real benefits for Canadian companies."

Job seekers and employers alike can create customized profiles for free. For more information, visit www.cme-mec.ca and register at icme.ca after February 29.

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