Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters

Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters

February 21, 2012 09:04 ET

New Website Aims to Bridge Skills Gap Dogging Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 21, 2012) - A new online tool connecting skilled workers with employers in Canada's industrial sector is tackling fears of a looming labour crisis that is expected to produce up to 500,000 vacant jobs across the country over the next decade.

Set to launch March 1, iCME.ca is the only national website of its kind, pairing candidate skill sets, education and practical experience with the specific needs of Canadian manufacturers and exporters.

"Finding and retaining qualified employees is the most significant challenge companies will face going forward, both financially and operationally," explains Jayson Myers, president and CEO of Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) - the group spearheading the initiative. "And the gap will not be limited to any one sector. So it's critical that we centralize our efforts to identify and promote these in-demand career opportunities to the next generation of Canada's workforce."

While a majority of these jobs will rely upon skilled tradespeople, including 800,000 alone in Alberta's oil sands by 2030, the growth of global supply chains have created hundreds of new, innovative career paths in manufacturing - from environmental specialists and high-tech product engineers to logistics experts and international trade professionals.

"People and skills are the currency of Canada's new economy," says Caroline Tompkins, president of the Forum for International Trade Training (FITT). "We no longer can afford to do our own thing. We need to work together on developing long-term, tangible solutions, and translate good intentions into real benefits for Canadian companies."

Job seekers and employers alike can create customized profiles absolutely free. For more information, visit www.cme-mec.ca and register at icme.ca after February 29.

About CME

Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) is Canada's largest trade and industry association, and the voice of manufacturing and global business in Canada.

Since 1871, we have made a difference for Canada's manufacturing and exporting communities. Fighting for their future. Saving them money. Helping them grow.

The association represents more than 10,000 leading companies nationwide. More than 85 per cent of CME's members are small and medium-sized enterprises. As Canada's leading business network, CME - through various initiatives including the establishment of the Canadian Manufacturing Coalition - touches more than 100,000 companies from coast to coast, engaged in manufacturing, global business and service-related industries.

CME's membership network accounts for an estimated 82 per cent of Canadian manufacturing production and 90 per cent of goods and services exports.

About FITT

The Forum for International Trade Training (FITT) equips individuals and businesses with the practical skills they need to succeed in today's competitive global marketplace.

A not-for-profit organization established by industry and government, FITT develops international business programs, sets competency standards, and designs the certification and accreditation programs for the Certified International Trade Professional (CITP) designation.

Centered on best practises and developed by leading global business experts, FITT's resources are the standard of excellence for trade practitioners. FITT - The professional path to global markets.

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