Skills Shortages: A Big Problem
Electricity Human Resource Canada has forecast an immediate skills shortage of 20,000 jobs by 2020. The future doesn’t look too bright either as less than 5% of electricity employees are under the age of 25.
These statistics are echoed in other sectors as well:
Tourism: Forecasting a shortage of almost 115,000 unfilled jobs by 2020
Supply chain: 100,000 employees needed by 2020
Food Processing: 50,000 workers needed by 2020
Other sectors where major shortages are looming include Agriculture, Insurance, Mining, Environmental workers, Petroleum, Printing and Trucking. In a nutshell almost every other skilled sector will face a skills crunch soon.
Will immigration help to fill this gap?
Canada has been very aggressive with respect to immigration. Over the last 10 years Canada has boosted almost 5% of it’s population through immigration programs. Immigrants play a key role in filling these job vacancies. However, international credentials need to be assessed. Also internationally trained professionals need to obtain licenses and accreditation in order to practice. Very often immigrant engineers, lawyers and healthcare professionals prefer to switch careers to avoid having to wait. The government is already working hard with industry consultants to reduce this delay, but yes it’s still a major issue.
Here are some resources for foreign trained professionals to help this process.
Can students help fill the gap?
Yes employers are working closely with educational institutions. Co-op programs ensure that students and employers get to know one another even before graduation. Over 90% of co-op students are hired by the company they interned with. Most undergraduate and graduate schools have close to a 100% placement rate for successful students. However there are not enough students to fill the emerging jobs. We need more.
Here are some resources for foreign students to understand the process.
This is a difficult time for employers but an amazing time to live, study and work in Canada. Opportunities and options abound. Become an Electrical engineer maybe? We do need to ensure the lights stay on.
*This blog was based on Industry feedback which was compiled in a report from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce on Canada’s skills crisis.