Vol 6, Issue 3, June 17, 2021
Hamilton's Labour Market Connection
Your weekly news & updates from WPH!
In this week's edition: Canadian companies want employees sooner; Preparing Ontario's economy for automation; Job transitions for Ontario's grocery workers; Hamilton Labour Force Information April 2021
Four Year Degree Too Long? Canadian Companies Want Employees Sooner
The skills shortage is so acute the private sector is stepping up training programs tailored for the jobs on offer rather than wait for universities. The latest Statistics Canada data show the professional, scientific and technical services sector had more than 46,600 job vacancies in March. Last week, Economic Development Minister Mélanie Joly suggested the need was even greater, telling reporters on June 3 that the Greater Toronto Area alone had 70,000 vacant technology positions.

But Canada’s workforce wasn’t ready for such a drastic shift, as most of the jobs were in non-technical sectors, such as healthcare and social assistance, retail, and construction. The mismatch is forcing the private sector to step up with training programs tailored for the jobs on offer, rather than wait on a post-secondary education system based on a four-year university degree.
"By the time you finish a four-year degree, what you learn at the beginning of those four years may no longer be relevant"

Preparing Canada's Economies for Automation
The Conference Board of Canada has developed the Automation Vulnerability Index (AVI) to track occupational vulnerability and workforce resiliency. Its aim is to help policy-makers better prepare for the technological changes that are imminent.

Regional economies will likely face many vulnerabilities as companies and industries adopt new automation-enabling technologies. Knowing the type and amount of employment at risk of automation – and the economic cost associated with potential transitions to less vulnerable occupations – could help policy-makers better prepare for the technological change. For this purpose, The Conference Board of Canada developed the Automation Vulnerability Index (AVI) to track occupational vulnerability and workforce resiliency. This issue briefing presents vital AVI findings, such as:

  • Automation will likely affect regions with manufacturing legacies and tourism-based economies the most.
  • Atlantic Canada’s workforce is the most vulnerable to automation due to its demographics and occupational composition.
  • Policy-makers must adapt their policy approaches to the causes of vulnerability in their region.

Pathways Forward: Mapping Job Transitions for Ontario Food Retail Workers
The Brookfield institute has released a report looking at job transitions for Ontario grocery workers. Hundreds of thousands of people across Canada are employed in the food retail industry. As the sector continues to evolve, the demand for particular skills changes — along with the reality of many grocery jobs. A significant proportion of grocery workers expect to transition out of their jobs, into other occupations and sectors. This report builds on the Brookfield Institute’s existing work exploring ways to connect skilled workers with in-demand opportunities, focusing on opportunities for job transitions for workers in Ontario’s grocery sector.

This report first investigates the skills that food retail workers (specifically: cashiers and clerks, shelf stockers and order fillers) use in their daily work. The report goes on to highlight careers in four major areas that might be suitable pathways: childcare practitioners, floor covering installers, food processing, and home support. Each of these careers are profiled for details such as entry requirements, nature of the work, and wage ranges. Each also provides frank advice from workers already in these industries. 

Hamilton Labour Force Information: April 2021

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