Canadian manufacturers expect skills shortages: report

Manufacturing, automation and utility companies are struggling to find qualified workers.

October 3, 2012   by PLANT STAFF

TORONTO—Canadian companies in the manufacturing, automation, energy and utility sectors can expect skills shortages as businesses struggle to find qualified workers, according to a survey by employment agency Randstad Canada.

According to the company’s latest Global Workmonitor Survey, which surveys employees in 32 countries, Canadian companies are reporting serious problems finding qualified employees amidst a growing skills shortage.

“The demographic shift resulting in retirements, a deepening shortfall of skilled workers and the growing mismatch between the skills needed and those available has evolved into an undeniable skills crisis,” says Jan Hein Bax, president of Randstad Canada.

According to survey respondents, 66% of Canadian employers have trouble finding the right people for specific jobs. Fifty-eight per cent believe Canadian employers are experiencing problems finding highly qualified people. Additionally, 55% of Canadian employees say they expect a shortage of highly qualified employees within the next three years. More than half of Canadian respondents also say they expect to see a shortage of staff in specific jobs.


The lack of skilled workers is affecting many of Canada’s sectors, regions and employers, says Bax.

“There’s shortages in the manufacturing, automation and energy and utility industries this year, and within these three industries, the Greater Toronto Area, Montreal and Calgary regions specifically experienced difficulties finding engineering talent.”

Skilled trades are also feeling the effects.

“In Quebec, in particular, we are seeing a strong demand for machinists, electro mechanics, industrial mechanics, welders, and supervisors in industrial management,” says Bax.

Skills shortage’s, however, aren’t concentrated to Canada, according to the survey. Almost 60% of respondents say employers have difficulties finding the right person for the job, especially in Brazil, where 71% of employers reportedly have difficulties finding the right talent.

Finding highly-qualified people is an issue for almost half of the world’s employers, but is less of a problem in Greece, Italy, Spain and Denmark, where approximately 33% of employers experience shortages. Globally, 47% of employees also expect a shortage of highly qualified staff within the next three years, especially in Hong Kong (67%),China and India (both 65%).

The Czech Republic (34%), TheNetherlands and Denmark (33%) have the lowest proportion of employees expecting a shortage of highly qualified staff.

Click here to download the full report.

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