Growing labour shortages coming: EOTB

SD&G – Some holes in filling the local labour market will probably get bigger in the years to come in SD&G and Prescott-Russell, according to data from the Eastern Ontario Training Board.

“We heard about growing economy generating labour market shortages ranging from entry-level workers to high educated professionals,” said EOTB Executive Director Denis Thibault, in his October labour market plan, called the TOP Report.

The data was compiled through a labour market survey of more than 4,700 businesses as well as interviews. The survey was conducted between October 2013 and March 2015.

Some of the ways the labour market shortage has been addressed to date include a program to train at-risk youth in food service as well as training and work experience for people with physical and mental disabilities.

But one of the added hurdles is two-thirds of businesses in SD&G and 70 per cent in Prescott-Russell are owner-operator setups with no employees.

Couple that with almost stagnant population growth, labour force data showing four out of every 10 people in SD&G are not even looking for work and the fact the region has a significantly older population with the average age of 45.6 years (Ontario average is 40.4, Canada average 40.6).

“The combination of slow population growth and an aging population drew our attention over the past year,” Thibault wrote.

The most hiring growth in 2014-2015 is happening in the trades, transport and equipment operation, based on a survey of jobs filled in the Employer One survey.

EOTB also launched a website called Labour Market Info, which has local employment prospects for 200 occupations in 11 industries based on the labour market survey.

And the labour market plan going forward?

“Targeted employer engagement,” such as worker transition programs, combined with “service coordination” will form the platform for the labour market plan in 2015‐2016.

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