Canadian Plastics

A two-pronged attack on skilled worker shortage for moldmakers

To address the chronic shortage of skilled workers, the federal government is considering policies to facilitate the hiring of foreign workers for moldmaking positions, and a more long-term approach t...

January 1, 2000   Canadian Plastics



To address the chronic shortage of skilled workers, the federal government is considering policies to facilitate the hiring of foreign workers for moldmaking positions, and a more long-term approach to the skilled worker shortage is being pursued by various school boards.

Participants at a recent breakfast meeting of the Canadian Plastics Industry Association Mould Makers Council were brought up-to-date on both projects.

On the foreign worker issue, an industry/government committee is developing a profile of the skills relevant to moldmaking that are in short supply in Canada and is making Human Resources Development Canada aware of these skills shortages. By gaining formal recognition that there is a critical shortage of workers with these skills, the immigration process for foreign workers with a job waiting in Canada can be streamlined.

A similar program for the high-tech industries has worked very well, says Chantal Ramsay, manager, business immigration with the Ontario government. She says a formal initiative by HRDC is likely before April.

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How will this help? Stephen Cheifetz, chairman of Porter Matthews Placement Services Inc. (Windsor, Ont.) explains: A company that decides to hire a foreign worker must identify the candidate, then get validation of the job offer from HRDC. The validation could take from two to four weeks, and HRDC can deny the validation of it feels there are Canadians available to fill the position. If it is formally recognized that there is a shortage of workers with the skills needed for moldmaking, validation could be much faster, or even automatic.

PROGRAM IDENTIFIES HIGH POTENTIAL STUDENTS

Taking a more long-term view, the Way to Go program, an initiative of the several school boards in the areas to the west and north of Toronto, hopes to help students identify if they are suited to a career in the skilled trades. From there, business industry facilitators (BIFs) can help connect industry with youths whose interests and skills match their needs.

Way to Go is currently developing thirty occupational profiles, including some for advanced manufacturing technologies, that will be used in two career aptitude tools.

Students use the career-aptitude tools and are then encouraged to consider the appropriate careers. The BIF helps candidates by arranging plant tours and work-related experiences.

For more information, contact Way to Go at 905/861-9555. CPL


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