Canadian Steel Trade and Employment Congress (CSTEC)

Canadian Steel Trade and Employment Congress (CSTEC)

January 27, 2012 02:47 ET

The Canadian Skills Shortage: Keeping Tradespeople Employed for the Foreseeable Future

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 27, 2012) - The current challenge of all major industrial manufacturers in Canada is the shortage of skilled workers with the right experience.

Research conducted by the Canadian Steel Trade and Employment Congress, [CSTEC] underscores this challenge in the broader Steel Sector.

With a very high value-add per employee, when compared to the rest of manufacturing, the broader Steel Sector is a good example of the "perfect storm" facing industrial manufacturing on Canadian soil. Over the next five years the steel industry will need to hire between 19,000 and 29,000 workers from all categories just to replace retiring employees. A minimum of 5,000 skilled tradespersons will also need to be replaced. This must occur during a period of significant retraction within the global steel industry.

As the bulk of the baby boomers exit the labour market they walk away with a lot of accumulated knowledge, in some cases as much as forty years.

Failure to capture and transfer this knowledge to the new workforce presents significant risk to all aspects of the numerous manufacturing operations within the broader Steel Sector.

This failure to act would result in direct impacts on safety, the environment, productivity, maintenance and certainly cost.

9 RECOMMENDATIONS

The nine recommendations to emerge as a result of CSTEC's research include addressing this Knowledge Transfer on behalf of the Canadian Steel Sector.

They also include increasing collaboration with the steel-producing regions located in Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia to continue developing a National Skilled Trades Strategy using a consortia approach. Early success with the Hamilton Skilled Trades and Apprenticeship Consortium can serve as a model for this type of broad collaborative effort, with special attention given to each unique steel-producing region in Canada.

The Steel Sector Study Executive Summary and Recommendations are available for download here:

English Steel Sector Study Executive Summary and Recommendations

French Steel Sector Study Executive Summary and Recommendations

The entire Steel Sector Study and Recommendations can be downloaded here:

English Steel Sector Study and Recommendations

French Steel Sector Study and Recommendations

COLLABORATION IS THE KEY

One of the most critical factors involved in this "perfect storm" for the Canadian Steel Sector is that all sectors of Canadian manufacturing are competing for skilled workers in the same globally-influenced economic environment.

Using the consortia approach, which aligns educators, industry and labour, the needs of the broader Steel Sector can be addressed in a timely, relevant way that benefits the steel industry and the skilled Canadians that work for it. The consortia approach also addresses the need to create clear pathways to training in this dynamic, technologically advanced industry.

"Over the next five years the steel industry will need to hire between 19,000 and 29,000 workers." (Highlight)

Young Canadians, immigrants and adults looking for employment security have a path to success in the steel industry and other areas of manufacturing - it will never "all go to China", on the contrary, the reality is the skills shortage facing Canada now ensures experienced, trained workers will be in demand for a long time. However, more can be done to make this path clear, more efficient and nationally-scoped.

Organizations such as EMC are doing great things within the community training approach.

Organizations such as the CSPA are doing great things for the steel industry as a whole.

What Canadian manufacturing looks like in 5 - 10 years depends on the depth and scope of efforts made by Canadians now.

Brought to you by the Canadian Steel Trade and Employment Congress.

Please take the time to review our brand new website www.cstec.ca (available in French at www.ccces.ca).

Follow our Twitter account, SteelSkills, to receive regular information concerning the skills shortage, its impact on the broader Steel Sector, and developments in the forming of regional consortia across Canada.

To view the videos associated with this release, please visit the following links:

http://vimeo.com/31267248

Bob Jones, Executive Director of the Canadian Steel Trade and Employment Congress addresses the audience in Toronto on April 14 gathered for the Lunch and Launch of the Human Resources in the Canadian Steel Sector Study.

http://vimeo.com/31266637

Ron Watkins, Director of the Canadian Steel Producers Association, addresses the audience before the Q&A portion of the Lunch and Launch for the Human Resources in the Canadian Steel Sector Study.

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