Government Report Encourages Support for Training and Technology Investment
After extensive consultations with the plastics industry, MPP Doug Galt recommends the Ontario government should support the industry to meet its training needs and alleviate the shortage of skilled w...
After extensive consultations with the plastics industry, MPP Doug Galt recommends the Ontario government should support the industry to meet its training needs and alleviate the shortage of skilled workers. On broader manufacturing issues, Galt says the government should address issues related to border infrastructure; should encourage SMEs to use the latest technologies through faster equipment write-offs or capital tax incentives; and should continue to foster a competitive business environment.
The recommendations are contained in Galt’s report to Jim Flaherty, the Minister of Enterprise, Opportunity and Innovation, called “Ontario’s Plastics Industry: a Dynamic Global Leader.” The report was released on May 26.
In his conclusion, Galt notes: “…training appears to be critical as Ontario companies strive to move to the leading edge of technology. Thus, the Ontario government should further define the training needs of the plastics industry and explore ways to support the industry to meet its need for skilled workers.”
Galt consulted with about 70 people from companies, associations and the educational community during the summer of 2002. He concludes the Ontario industry is doing well overall, although training and innovation are key issues for future growth.
Ontario accounts for 66% of Canada’s shipments of plastic products, 61% of national raw materials and machinery shipments, and 85% of Canadian mold shipments.
According to the report, the Canadian and Ontario plastics industries have consistently trailed the U.S. industry in profitability (as defined in the report.) As well, Canada’s capital investment rate has dropped below that of the U.S. since the mid-1990s. The productivity gap between the two countries also continues to widen. It is suggested that the productivity difference is linked to differences in capital investment, that U.S. firms have “shown a stronger commitment to productivity-enhancing technology.”
The Galt report encompasses resin producers, machinery producers, processors and moldmakers. The full report is available at www.ontariocanada.com/ontcan/en/downloads/ reports/report_may_2003_plastics_industry.pdf.