Sudbury Employment Situation Does Not Paint A Bright Picture For The
Special Report By
Valley East Today
after study, both here and abroad, are proving that the lack of skilled
labour is a concern for businesses and governments globally. It is
reaching a critical stage and may trigger a huge increase in inflation as
wages skyrocket in an attempt to attract the most qualified and skilled
people. It is purely a matter of supply and demand.
despite the cries from around the world for more skilled employees, and
despite the booming economy reported in most major cities, Sudbury appears
to be heading in the opposite direction.
information from the two surveys below point out another startling fact.
Across North America and Asia, the top shortage is of sales
employers say they are not just looking for bodies. They say they want
experienced salespeople who know their respective industries.
|International Survey Results
has one of the most serious shortages of skilled labour in the
industrial world, international survey results released today
Two-thirds 66 per cent of employers in Canada report having
difficulty filling positions due to a lack of suitable talent, well
above the 40 per cent of employers globally, according to the survey
last month of nearly 33,000 employers across 23 countries and
regions, including 1,000 employers here.
Only Mexico, where 78 per cent of employers say they are facing
shortages of skilled workers, has a higher proportion, according to
the survey by Manpower Inc., an international employment services
company. Japan has the third-highest skills shortage, reported by 58
per cent of employers, while 44 per cent of U.S. employers say they
are facing such shortages.
In Canada, the survey found the positions employers are having the
most difficulty filling are for sales representatives, followed in
order by customer service representatives, engineers, drivers,
mechanics, labourers, chefs or cooks, electricians, skilled trades
Among the actions required here to address these shortages in the
coming years are closer links between employers and educators,
increased investment in training, including for existing employees,
and more flexible use of talent, the report said.
Doyle added that with its relatively high living standards Canada is
in good position to compete with other countries for skilled
Here and globally, the shortage is due to a combination of factors,
including demographic shifts due to aging and low birth rates,
inadequate education programs and the effects of globalization,
including outsourcing and offshoring.
The Canadian survey results are considered accurate within 3.1
percentage points, the global results within 4.1 points.
Labour and Business Centre
this month, another survey, by the Canadian Labour and Business
Centre, revealed that skills shortages have become a top concern in
Canada for both business and labour leaders, especially in the
rapidly expanding economies of the westernmost provinces. It found
that the skills shortage has surpassed tax cuts as the No. 1 issue
for private-sector employers in British Columbia, and is the No. 2
issue for them in Alberta.
Concerns about skills shortages prompted all parties in the last
election campaign to promise more support for training.
The new Conservative government’s campaign commitments include a
$1,000 grant to help apprentices cover workplace costs, a $500 tools
tax deduction for existing tradespeople and a tax credit of up to
$2,000 for businesses that establish new apprenticeship positions.
the above, Ron Lange, an economic professor from Laurentian University who
studies Sudbury labour force developments and trends, states that “
appears to have a
strange combination of high unemployment and shortages of labour.
that one of the main reasons for the above phenomena is that Sudbury's
public service and institutional sector declined by 1400 jobs in 2005.
Many of these positions were paying healthy salaries, and as such, their
loss is being felt throughout the economy.
“The decline in
total employment in
was due mainly to a huge
drop in the institutional and public-services sector, consisting of
health/social assistance, education, public administration, and
information/culture/recreation,” Lange wrote on the
Northern Ontario Research
and Development website.
But while looking over
2005 data, the Laurentian University professor noticed that while almost
every other major city across
had employment growth,
Lange said many people are discouraged from the lack of job opportunities
in the city and have dropped out of the labour market all together. So,
’s unemployment rate is
probably closer to 10 per cent.
But statistics by
Human Resources Development Canada from the third quarter of 2005, showed
there were job vacancies in the business administration (538), trades and
transport (936), and sales and service (1,357) sectors.
institutions seem to have placed a greater focus on the skilled trades,
yet there remains a labour shortage, Lange said.
There are many
underlying reasons why students are leaving Sudbury instead of trying to
fill vacancies. The two reports in this article offer some of those
reasons. While post-secondary institutions place more focus on the skilled
trades, unless a person develops an interest in these fields while they
are in their developmental stages of growth, namely in elementary school,
you won't be able to "manufacture the interest" after high
school just so they can receive a pay cheque.
Let's face it, our
schools are producing graduates who are well-equipped to work in
well-paying government jobs that require university or college diplomas.
They are not coming out prepared or encouraged to work in business, sales,
customer service or trades.
While it is nice to
put funding into post-secondary institutions and grants to help pay
tuitions, the reality of the matter is that most of the graduates are
still going to come out with a diploma, a huge debt, and poor job
Just keep in mind,
as an editorial comment to close off this feature, "If you always do
what you've always done, you will always get what you've always got."