Authors: The Labour Market Group
The Labour Market Group (LMG) is a not-for-profit organization, funded by the Ontario Ministry of Training Colleges and Universities, that promotes the development of a skilled and competitive workforce.
Each year, the LMG draws together data from a variety of sources to complete a Trends, Opportunities and Priorities report. In this edition of the report, the District of Nipissing and the District of Parry Sound are dealt with separately because of the significant demographic differences between the two districts.
For each of these districts, the authors have prepared an action plan that highlights priority workforce issues and sets out proposed partnerships and steps to deal with the issues.
The authors have also included a list of participants in the community consultation process and provided a glossary of terms related to the labour market.
Who Does What in Aboriginal Skills Development: A Reference Document
Authors: Stonecircle Consulting
The goal of this document is to explain the nature of Aboriginal human resources issues in Canada, and to provide practical information for promoting partnerships that lead to meaningful work for Aboriginal people and boost the pool of skilled workers for economic sectors currently experiencing shortfalls.
The authors note that while Canada is one of the fastest growing economies among the G8, a shortfall of skilled workers will make it difficult to sustain that growth. At the same time, Canada is experiencing an Aboriginal baby boom and the unemployment rate among Aboriginal people in Canada is nearly three times the national average.
The authors have included information about Aboriginal populations in Canada; support for Aboriginal human resources; the Aboriginal Human Resource Council; and a variety of agreements pertaining to Aboriginal human resources.
This publication was funded by The Alliance of Sector Councils (TASC), the network of Canada’s sector councils dedicated to implementing industry-driven labour market solutions in key sectors of the economy. For more information about TASC, please visit its website at http://www.councils.org.
This document offers an analysis of the status of prior learning assessment and recognition (PLAR) across Canada. As well, it includes suggestions about what is needed in order for employers, post-secondary institutions, and government to recognize and value experiential and informal learning.
The authors point out that while expanding the understanding of learning and education is certainly an issue of social justice, it is also a matter of pressing economic urgency in the face of labour shortages, skills deficits, and underrepresentation of specific populations within the labour markets.
The document includes several appendices that provide information on the recognition of PLAR activities in 12 Canadian jurisdictions; the development of policies and practices related to PLAR in Quebec; eight international case studies; standards and principles for PLAR; the Halifax Declaration for the Recognition of Prior Learning; and impediments to adult learner participation.
Labour Market Update Project
Authors: Prism Economics and Analysis
In this report, the authors point to a combination of factors that add up to difficult times for the plastics industry in Canada. Some factors may be temporary, like the overvalued Canadian dollar. But others, like increased competition from China and India, are part of a new reality the sector must deal with.
The authors also note that a surge in interest in energy efficiency and environmental protection is driving consumer preferences and shaping government policy. Adapting to these challenges by altering products and production is a priority.
They conclude that the plastics sector will overcome its current problems but caution companies to prepare now in order to be able to take advantage of new opportunities as they emerge. A crucial factor will be the recruitment and retention of skilled workers.
The report was published by the Canadian Plastics Sector Council (CPSC), a national not-for-profit association created to explore and address emerging human resources issues in the plastics processing industry.
Report for the English Language Requirements for Construction Labourers Project
Authors: Hammond & Associates
This report is housed on the Hammond & Associates website, at http://www.hammondassociatesinc.com.
The report describes a research study and pilot project carried out on behalf of Alberta Employment and Immigration in 2010. The goals of the project were to analyze the English language demands of construction labourers working in an English-speaking environment, and to describe those requirements as a range of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) levels for reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills.
The research focused on labourers, not trades helpers or apprentices, working for companies in larger urban centres, which would be more likely to have culturally diverse work crews. Research included reviews of relevant references that describe the occupational tasks and work context of construction labourers; visits to work sites; and interviews with both labourers and supervisors.
The researchers arranged their findings under four broad topics: communication support; intercultural competence; work processes and systems design; and English Language instruction. Within each topic, they provide both a summary of what they observed, and a number of suggestions for improvements.
For example, in the category of work processes and systems design, they observed some basic strategies, such as concentrating writing tasks in the hands of supervisors and using standardized templates for important and common tasks. They suggest the use of highly visual job aids, posters, and training resources as an effective and economical means for overcoming a language barrier.
Authors: Hammond & Associates
This document is housed on the Hammond & Associates website, at http://www.hammondassociatesinc.com.
A growing number of internationally trained electricians whose first language is not English are working in Alberta. This document describes a project undertaken in 2010 to establish a clear description of the language demands of the occupation as a basis for improved communication and integration of all members of the workforce.
Specifically, the goals of the project were to analyze the language demands of the trade and relate those demands to the Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB); recommend the English language proficiency, expressed as a CLB level or a range, required to meet these language demands; develop an inventory of common speaking, listening, reading, and writing tasks as a basis for training and resource development; and identify contextual factors that influence the language demands and suggest workplace supports to facilitate integration of internationally trained electricians.
The consultants interviewed both locally and internationally trained workers to identify key responsibilities and communication tasks of the job. Based on their findings, they recommended seeking ways to evaluate the “fit” between apprenticeship systems in Canada and those of other countries; developing a trade-specific course for internationally trained electricians; developing online resources that focus on the tools of the trade; and training in how to write for an intercultural workforce.
Education Matters: Insights on Education, Learning and Training in Canada, November 2010, Vol 7, no 4
Authors: Louise Desjardins
In this article, published by Statistics Canada, the author uses data from the Labour Force Survey to explore changes in employment in apprenticeable occupations over the period between 2008 and 2010, comparing those changes with the changes observed in all other occupations combined.
Between 2000 and 2008, Canada had enjoyed steady, rapid employment growth. Subsequently, as a result of the global economic downturn, Canada's labour market suffered substantial employment losses, particularly in late 2008 and the first few months of 2009.
The decrease in employment between October 2008 and October 2009 was larger in apprenticeable occupations than in all other occupations. It had the greatest impact on welders, exterior finishing occupations, machinists, carpenters, and heavy equipment and crane operators, including drillers.
The under-25 age group, males, and workers born in Canada experienced the largest declines among workers in apprenticeable occupations. The employment decline for males and workers born in Canada was due to their heavy concentration in industries that experienced the largest employment decreases between October 2008 and October 2009. In addition, apprenticeable occupations lost proportionately twice as many permanent jobs as other occupations.
The increase in employment between October 2009 and October 2010 favoured workers in apprenticeable occupations more than workers in other occupations. Further research is needed to determine the extent to which these employment gains reflect infrastructure spending encouraged by governments to help revitalize the economy; business reinvestment; or the increase in household spending in 2010 that resulted from greater confidence in Canada's economic situation.
The Canadian Labour Business Centre (CLBC) carried out a study from October 2000 and January 2001 exploring Canadian employers’ views and experiences with assessing and recognizing the credentials of foreign-trained workers, as well as approaches to raising the awareness of employers on these subjects.
“The assessment and recognition of the education credentials of foreign-trained workers is an issue of growing importance in Canada. An accurate understanding and evaluation of the skills, knowledge and experience of foreign-trained workers plays a key role in enabling these workers to find jobs in which this preparation can be used to full advantage. When this happens, the individual benefits from earnings in keeping with his/her skills, and the employer and economy benefit from the full productive use of those skills. When this does not happen, the full productive potential of the labour force goes unrealized, and the affected individuals and their families suffer lower incomes and standards of living.” (Executive Summary)
Lessons in Learning – February 21, 2008
Series: Lessons in Learning
Authors: Canadian Council on Learning (CCL)
The authors note that improvements in post-secondary educational attainment are an important response to the growing demand for skills in the Canadian labour market. However, in addition to academic skills, employers require their employees to have occupational skills, including both job-specific technical skills and “soft skills” like interpersonal communication and teamwork.
The authors say that many post-secondary students turn to programs that include an experiential learning component – such as co-operative education, internships or other forms of work placements – in order to develop a broader range of occupational skills.
The authors discuss ways to expand and improve experiential learning opportunities in Canada, including increasing awareness of such opportunities; implementing incentive programs; and ensuring that experiential learning programs provide students with good quality learning environments.
Authors: Brigid Hayes
This report provides background material for understanding labour market transfers from the federal government and, in particular, for understanding the implications of one specific transfer, the Labour Market Agreement (LMA), for literacy organizations across Canada.
The LMA provides funding for training adults who are not eligible for Employment Insurance (EI), focusing on both the employed and unemployed who have low literacy levels and Essential Skills.
The author discusses the problems in determining actual LMA spending, as many provincial annual reports do not provide specific spending amounts. Also, accountability and evaluation in the LMA process are in need of improvement.
As well as explaining different labour market tools, the author analyzes the key elements of the LMAs from a literacy and Essential Skills perspective and provides general questions that could be asked of the various governments.
The final section of the report is customized for each province and territory, meaning that there are in effect 13 different versions of the report.