Canadian Plastics

Canadian manufacturers want to hire but can’t find the right people: report

The Canadian economy is experiencing a significant shortage of skilled workers at all levels, from welders and engineers to HVAC technicians.

December 5, 2011   Canadian Plastics

The Canadian economy is experiencing a significant shortage of skilled workers at all levels, from welders and engineers to HVAC technicians.

Half of Canadian manufacturers who responded to a recent manufacturing survey conducted by business advisory firm PwC (formerly PricewaterhouseCoopers) said they expect positive hiring over the next 12 months – and almost as many (45%) said that the lack of qualified workers was a significant barrier to their growth.

According to PwC’s third-quarter 2011 Manufacturing Barometer study, based on interviews conducted with 38 Canadian-based industrial manufacturing executives, of the 50% of companies looking to hire within the next 12 months, the most sought after employees will be professionals/technicians (45%), followed by skilled labour (26%).

“While resource-rich industries are key drivers of demand, they also draw substantially on the supply of skilled workers,” said Calum Semple, consulting partner and leader of the Operational Turnaround practice at PwC. “Energy and mining companies are struggling to find qualified employees and their significant draw on employment is trickling down to their suppliers.”

Only 5% of interviewees reported plans to reduce their workforces, resulting in a net workforce projection of plus 1.2% over the next year, the study also found.

Other findings: When it comes to deals, fewer Canadian manufacturers (26%) are planning merger and acquisition activity and expansion to foreign markets than their counterparts in the U.S. (35%). “The majority who do anticipate deal-making in 2012 said they will be making new strategic alliances (42%), followed by new joint ventures (29%),” the study noted. “Less than a quarter will expand to new markets abroad (24%), whereas almost 40% of American manufacturers plan to do the same.”

Additionally, Canada continues to be an attractive place for foreign companies who are looking to new, more stable markets to grow their businesses and offset the concerns of an uncertain global economic environment, PwC concluded. “Mid-market deals in industrial manufacturing showed surprising resilience in Q3, up 7% over the prior quarter,” the study said.

For more on the study, click on this link.


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