Skilled worker shortage behind increase in job postings
Some businesses are offering higher pay, bonuses, and even looking internationally for new hires due to a skilled trade worker shortage across Canada.
Guelph manufacturer Westrock has hired nearly 20 new people over the last year and still has eight openings.
“Anyone that’s interested and motivated would be welcome,” said general manager Jessica Murphy. “Manufacturing jobs are awesome if you have previous manufacturing skills, but we start at job entry level, so there’s an extensive training program.
“We do have some retirements coming up.”
Patrick Poulin, president of recruiting firm Randstad Group, says there are about one million skilled trade jobs up for grabs, and another million more likely available over the next ten years.
“Because of the shortage happening, we see a lot of signing bonuses happening and retention bonuses like we’ve never seen before,” he said.
John Tibbits, the president of Conestoga College, the largest skilled trades college in Southern Ontario, adds that as the industry grows so does the demand for workers.
“This area you can see is growing, I mean the industry and construction,” he said. “That’s why we’re looking at recruiting internationally, and it’s a shame in a way.”
Part of the concern is that skilled trades have the wrong reputation among the younger generation.
“The idea that going to university is the be all, end all,” said Tibbits. “There's huge number of jobs. Right now a truck driver is $100,000 a year.”