17 September 2007
Oil boom equals acute skills shortage for Canada
The oil boom in western Canada is exacerbating the skills shortage, which is most acute in the western part of the country but is being felt across Canada, according to the latest research. People considering Canadian immigration are likely to be in high demand in many industries and regions in Canada.
The latest C-Suite Survey of Canadian executives shows that the shortage of skilled labour is now the number one challenge for business leaders and the economy. Survey respondents called for Canada's human resource challenges to become one of the government's top priorities.
Finding available, qualified employees is "difficult" for a huge 84 per cent of survey respondents. Newfoundland cable television chief executive, Dean MacDonald, told the Globe and Mail: "The west has become the great big vacuum cleaner of talent in the country."
Licensed tradespeople such as electricians are the most difficult type of worker to hire, along with the workers in the service sector, where the labour crunch is described as severe. More than 90 per cent of survey respondents said it is tough to get service workers.
Resource companies and manufacturers are also finding it hard to hire staff, with 81 per cent and 71 per cent of executives in those sectors respectively reporting it "somewhat difficult" or "very difficult" to find qualified, available employees.
Other factors blamed for the skill shortage are Canada's aging population, with retiring workers not replaced by enough people coming into the work force. The failure of the education system to teach young Canadians the skills employers require was also criticised.
The quarterly survey was conducted for Report on Business and Business News Network by the Gandalf Group, and sponsored by KPMG and law firm Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg. The survey interviewed 150 executives across the country between August 13th and August 31th, 2007. Respondents were spread across company size, geographically, and across industry sectors.
Canada welcomes new immigrants: The Canadian Visa Bureau can assist skilled workers interested in Canadian immigration. More information on Canadian visas is available on the website. Anyone applying for a Canadian visa should begin by completing the online Canadian visa application to see if they meet the legislative requirements.