9 Canadians out of 10 are worried about the shortage of manpower

The skills shortage between supply and demand on the labour market has proved to be a major concern for Canadian workers this year. The 2014 job market trends survey, conducted by Randstad Canada in collaboration with Ipsos Reid among 2,076 employees and managers across the country, also shows that the skilled trades (plumbers, electricians, etc.) suffer the most from labour scarcity. The phenomenon is mainly due to ignorance and a poor image of these jobs.


This year, the greatest challenges facing companies are, for Canadian employees: the lack of workers in skilled trades (16.3%), outsourcing and the growing number of people arriving on the labour market (15.2%) and the general lack of skilled workers (9.9%).

Shared responsibilities

For 91.2% of Canadian workers, the labour shortage remains a major problem for 2014. To alleviate the problem of skills gaps, respondents believe that businesses, educational systems and governments have a role to play. So 40% of them think that companies should invest more in training, focusing on their employees’ skills. 38% believe that academic institutions should make efforts to promote the sectors and occupations that are experiencing a labour shortage. 32.9% feel that government should invest more on skills-based training directed to the unemployed and underemployed and 25.7% that it should put incentive measures in place so workers move toward occupations where there is a shortage.

Skills shortage in specialized occupations

Skilled trades are considered to be one of the top three industries that provide jobs (44.7%). The other fields representing the highest hiring potential are health (38.2%), the oil and gas sector (33.9%), technologies (26.9%), engineering and construction (25.2%0. On the other hand, sectors offering the lowest job opportunities are non-profit organizations, universities, entertainment, recreation and the consumer products industry.

The labour shortage is explained, for 79% of Canadians, by a misunderstanding of skilled trades and for 76.6% by a negative perception: less respected and more old-fashioned than “white collar” jobs.

37% of people surveyed would consider a career in the skilled trades if the sector offered good job prospects in the short and long term. 34.8% would consider it if they were promised better job security than in other sectors. Finally, accessible training programs allowing for easy transfer would incite 31.8% of those surveyed to change direction in their career…


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