Vol 2, Issue 3, February 18, 2021
Hamilton's Labour Market Connection
Your weekly news & updates from WPH!
In this week's edition: Skills for the Future Forum February 23; Apprenticeship Spotlight!; Yesterday's Gone, Canadas Future Labour Market; Training is only half the story; Hamilton LMI Dec 2020
Skills for the Future Forum: Join Us For Our Second Session February 16th - Funding Opportunities
WPH has partnered with Mohawk College Enterprise to present our virtual series: Skills for the Future Forum. A series of three weekly virtual interactive sessions featuring in-depth discussions and learning from a range of experts delving into the skills of today with a focus on the future.
We hosted our first session earlier this week and it was a successful interactive discussion! Join us for our next two upcoming sessions.

Upcoming Speaker Session: February 23 (1-4pm):
The Evolution of Workplace Skills

Our final session will feature guest speakers providing in-depth discussions of workplace skills and the evolution of skills throughout the pandemic and beyond. 
Speakers include:

  • Steve Tobin - Executive Director at Labour Market Information Council. Topic: Topic: A shift from educational qualifications and credentials to skills
  • Anthony Manitone – Senior Economist from Labour Market Information Council. Topic: Using online job postings data to identify skills in demand
  • Emily Ecker- Associate Dean of Community Partnerships and Learning & Jody Brown, Manager, Community Access and Engagement from Mohawk College. Topic: Challenge 2025 Workforce Training Program 
  • Sara Gill – Executive Director of Adult Basic Education Association. Topic: Relationship between essential skills and job performance & how literacy and education programs support workforce development
Welcome to Apprenticeship Spotlight! We are hosting a new segment in our newsletter to elevate the conversation on apprenticeships and to continue to support skilled trades employers through these challenging times.

WPH has done a lot of research and projects with the focus on Apprenticeships and the skilled trades. There is a skills shortage in our communities coupled with an aging workforce in the skilled trades creating the perfect storm heading towards hiring crisis if we do not focus on solutions for skilled trades workers locally.

This segment will feature real life experiences of local skilled trades workers, employers, and apprentices; labour market information regarding skilled trades in our community; news and articles related to apprenticeships and skilled trades; and local initiatives that support the skilled trades and apprenticeships in Hamilton.

Spotlight Profile: Justin Decosemo's Story

Justin is a welder by trade but currently works at Mohawk Apprenticeship Community Hub – and this is his spotlight on welding and the skilled trades.

Welding is great. It is something our communities are going to need skilled people for a long time. You can’t have a robot build custom fencing or a custom roll cage. It’s a job that you can count on and is in extremely high demand. The average age of Canadian welder as of 2017 was 56 - we need young people to get involved so the workforce continues and remained skilled.

I started welding about ten years ago and it was all by fluke. I wanted to be an iron worker. I went to Alberta for work and one of the welder’s helpers got hurt so I filled in for a few shifts and loved it. The guy I was covering for didn’t return to work so I managed to get his job and haven’t looked back since.

I spent 5 years between Alberta and BC and completed my training at Northern Alberta Institute of Technology to become a welder by trade. I returned to Ontario where I bounced around a few shops until I landed at Brents welding where I worked with school’s co-op departments and really enjoyed teaching. I ended up progressing my career into teaching and combining two things I really enjoyed, welding and teaching which leaves me at my career today -Professor of Welding and Coordinator Apprenticeship Welding.

Getting into the skilled trades does not mean you will be stuck doing the same job every day for the rest of your life if you don’t want to. I started in welding and now work at the college. Welding can lead to many other careers such as an estimator, working for the Canadian Welding Bureau as a tester, or becoming a project manager. By the time my career ended at Brents welding, I was second in command dealing with everything from planning, to hiring, to buying materials.

Welding and the skilled trades are extremely essential in our society now. The average wage of a welder has increased significantly in the last decade. New welders can expect a starting wage from $16-$20 per hour but if you expand to become a field welder you can make up to $100,000 per year. Of course there are a lot of risks and health and safety to consider in a skilled trade such as welding, but this is something the trades take very seriously.

From accidentally covering some welding helper’s shifts, I found that the trades were a great place to start my career and its progressed into supporting new students into welding at the Hub.

Coordinator Apprenticeship Welding.
Professor Welding.
905-575-1212 ext 5669
Skilled Trades Employer Toolkit

WPH developed a partnership with the Mohawk College Apprenticeship Community Hub to create a bespoke digital Toolkit for Skilled Trade Employers aimed at supporting employers during the hiring crisis in our community by providing easily accessible online information.

The Toolkit will support employers through recruitment and retention of apprenticeships, including guidance and tips to successfully on-board and retain apprentices featuring specific information on:
  • Registration
  • Training/Education
  • Monitoring
  • Financial incentives
  • Release to School 
  • Completion

We will be hosting a virtual Zoom forum on March 1st from 8:30-10am, to present the Apprenticeship Employer Tool Kit to skilled trades employers in Hamilton and to gather employer feedback about how this new comprehensive digital Tool Kit can work for employers.

Do you want to to be featured or have something to contribute to the Apprenticeship Spotlight? We'd love to hear from you! Click here to send a direct email with your information.
Yesterday's Gone: Canada's Possible Future Labour Market in a Post-COVID World
Canada’s economy is adapting to a host of recent changes, from a rapid shift to remote work, to altered global power dynamics, and uneven responses to the climate emergency. The extent of these changes and the level of uncertainty about the future has been amplified by COVID-19. In this environment, it is critical to understand the breadth of potential changes ahead so we can better prepare workers for the future of Canada’s labour market. 

Yesterday’s Gone identifies eight megatrends and 34 related mesotrends with the potential to impact employment in Canada by 2030. The goal of this research is to explore these technological, social, economic, environmental and political changes and to inform the design of skills-demand programs and policy responses. The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced new uncertainties about our future trajectories.. Imaginative and exploratory thinking can help leaders consider the broad range of potential challenges around the corner—and prepare for what is to come.
Training is Only Half the Story
While there are still major disagreements on economic policy issues, most agree that training is, broadly, “a good thing.” Governments of all stripes are pledging new money to help displaced workers and sectors. In addition to training for the jobs we think we’ll need, we should invest in the talent that already exists, and towards the problems they are working on we don’t yet know how to solve. This could let us create jobs that we can’t yet quite anticipate.

Talent is around, and business opportunities exist, awaiting investment. Click here to read more.
Hamilton Labour Force Information:
December 2020

The Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the City of Hamilton, Hamilton Economic Development, and the Flamborough and Stoney Creek Chambers of Commerce, are closely monitoring and assessing new developments pertaining to COVID-19, as well as its impacts on Hamilton business.

Workforce Planning Hamilton | 905-521-5777| info@workforceplanninghamilton.ca | www.workforceplanninghamilton.ca