Canadian Plastics

Labour force crucial for manufacturing sector success: study

Canada's manufacturing labour force is critical to the future prosperity of the sector, according to a new Conferen...

September 15, 2008   Canadian Plastics

Canada’s manufacturing labour force is critical to the future prosperity of the sector, according to a new Conference Board study.

The report, entitled “Key Economic and Labour Force Issues Facing Canada’s Manufacturing Sector”, recommends that manufacturers improve on the current skills of their two million workers by tapping into education and training programs. The sector also needs to keep its aging workers in the labour force longer, the study said, through more flexible scheduling and changes in work processes. Finally, the sector has to restore its image as a rewarding career option for underrepresented groups such as young workers and women that have other employment options.

“This shift in production means the skill requirements for manufacturing employees will continue to rise, and firms will increasingly compete for skilled workers with other sectors of the economy,” said Douglas Watt, associate director, Organizational Learning and Development, for the Conference Board. “At present, the manufacturing sector needs to do more to take full advantage of its current workforce through training and learning programs, and do more to successfully recruit younger workers.”

The research project, conducted for the Government of Canada’s Sector Council Program, highlights four innovative programs that are addressing the key human resource issues facing the manufacturing sector:

– Wood Manufacturing Council’s WoodLINKS program a school-to-work transition and certification program, establishing partnerships between high schools and local manufacturers.

– Textiles Human Resources Council’s Skills and Learning Sites and Portal a flexible, cost-effective learning infrastructure for Canadian textile manufacturers and their employees.

– Canadian Plastics Sector Council’s Virtual HR Department (VHRD) program an online one-stop shop for human resources tools.

– Apparel Human Resources Council’s Management Competencies project a structured step-by-step strategic planning and human resources development process.

For more information, visit this link.

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