There is a serious labour shortage in Canada’s manufacturing sector. 

Unfortunately, that is just a cold, hard fact in the current global economy. But there’s good news as well. Great manufacturing jobs are available with career advancement and great salary opportunities. It’s just a matter of putting both sides of the work/workforce equation together.

If you have manufacturing jobs to fill we can help. Or are you a job seeker considering a manufacturing job? As a leading manufacturing recruitment agency in the Greater Toronto Area and Southwestern Ontario, HCR Personnel Solutions is a valued resource for employers and employees. Our people, programs, and processes reflect our knowledge and commitment to job seekers of all types. HCR is proudly affiliated with ACSESS – Association of Canadian Search, Employment, and Staffing Services.

We want to hear your story. Call one of our recruiting professionals at 416-622-1427, or get in touch online today

So why is it so hard for Canadian manufacturing companies to recruit for manufacturing jobs? 

According to the online magazine Canadian Manufacturing, the reason is twofold:

 A  report by Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute reveals that the manufacturing skills gap is now anticipated to leave 2.1 million jobs unfilled by 2030.

There has been a heightened interest in attracting millennials to manufacturing. Besides the need to attract young, digitally-savvy talent to the industry, baby boomers are starting to retire en masse. A recent manufacturing outlook roundtable, hosted by PLANT, revealed that in Canada, 25% of the manufacturing workforce will retire by 2030. As a result, the industry will be facing a labor shortage and overall skills gap – and it’s a global concern.

Canadian manufacturing companies are definitely facing recruiting and hiring challenges in today’s globalized economy. The Canadian economy, along with many other countries, has struggled to return to full strength. This is due in part due to an aging workforce, and an overall hesitance by younger workers to return to work while they have access to extended unemployment benefits. 

The manufacturing sector is also behind the curve when it comes to recruiting younger workers away from the tech and professional sectors like healthcare, legal, etc.    

One answer to the manufacturing labor shortage is to offer the incentive of advancement opportunities and stronger career paths through upskilling programs. 

So what exactly is upskilling? Let’s turn to online global business information giant Forbes for an answer:

“To meet the demands that the future of work will bring, we need to develop an agile workforce. This means that professionals will need to adapt and change with the growing and shifting needs of businesses that are being faced with continual pressure to increase profits. This needs to happen while also shifting to automation, more data-driven approaches and competitive pressure to innovate.

This future workforce will need to adopt an agile philosophy: continuous improvement and optimization as needs arise over time. One of the best ways to ensure this agility is to embrace upskilling, or steadily learning new skills that can be applied in their work, and to fulfill newly created roles and jobs. 

The good news is that Canadian companies are incredibly innovative and adaptable. Hiring managers and human resources professionals are getting creative. One example of this is the push for Canadian manufacturers to recruit more women into the sector

In this post, we’re going to drill down into the advantages and benefits of formal upskilling platforms, to both employers and prospective employees, in the Canadian manufacturing industry. 

We’re going to focus the discussion on five key areas: 

  • The Upskilling Gap In Manufacturing In Canada
  • How To Close The Gap
  • Importance Of Developing A Long-Term Plan
  • The Need For Upskilling Due To The Rise Of Automation 
  • How Automation Is Changing The Way People Do Their Jobs

We’ve got a lot to cover so let’s get started.

Is There a Manufacturing Skills Gap In Canada?

According to the experts at Canadian Manufacturing magazine, the answer is yes:

According to the World Economic Forum’s 2020 Future of Jobs report, there is a growing global demand for job roles such as Data Analysts and Scientists, AI and Machine Learning Specialists, Software and Application Developers and even Digital Transformation Specialists. For factory floor workers that operate in a connected ecosystem, hands-on-skills need to be accompanied with digital skills, that evolve on an ongoing basis.

That’s a great description of the skills gap. But what can manufacturing companies do about it? Continuous upskilling appears to be a major piece of the solution.

How To Close The Gap

The world of manufacturing is always changing. That means that the skills required by a competitive workforce are always changing as well. Hiring managers and teams will need to adjust. 

Manufacturing companies are evolving in their quest to make great products and stay competitive in a global economy at the same time. This means they are embracing technologies like robotics, automation, machine learning, etc. It also means that they will need to invest in an educated, highly skilled workforce.

Automation technologies lend themselves to repetitive tasks that require ultra-precise tolerances, measuring, cutting, grinding, etc. In other words, tasks that don’t directly necessarily require a human being can be automated. Manufacturing companies will need skilled workers and technicians, however, to manage these automated machines and processes. 

Automated manufacturing processes also require human intervention for quality, process, and safety control. These can be high-paying, challenging, fulfilling manufacturing jobs. 

Manufacturing companies need to start apprenticeship, training, awareness, and internal as well as external educational programs for their employees right now in order to be able to fill these types of jobs in the future. They also need to make workers aware of these new and interesting jobs as part of their corporate branding, recruiting, and hiring processes.

Importance Of Developing A Long-Term Plan

The education, awareness, and promotion of the new world of manufacturing jobs will not happen overnight. This process will need to be integrated into the DNA of manufacturing companies by human resources and hiring professionals as well as marketing and branding teams.

Companies with great brands are always known as great places to work. Job seekers know which companies have great opportunities for growth and advancement at all levels. This means skilled and unskilled trades, line and management jobs, etc. These opportunities for employee growth need to be formal, well-publicized programs.  

When current and potential new employees understand that they are valued and have challenging growth opportunities, they will respond. This type of positive growth environment, fostered by long-term upskilling and education programs, will allow the manufacturing sector to compete more successfully for talent.     

Automation Is Pushing The Need For Upskilling In The Manufacturing Sector 

Automation is changing the way people do their jobs, not necessarily replacing them. In fact, there is currently a shortage of skilled workers to fuel the growth of technology in the manufacturing sector. According to Canada’s 2021 Advanced Manufacturing Outlook Report

More companies are applying IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) or planning to invest in this technology…However, there are challenges, most notably a lack of skills and talent to support investment and make technology work for businesses. 

The lack of skilled workers is delaying the implementation of technology by manufacturing companies. That’s good news for workers who might be considering a career in the sector.

The government is also getting involved, with over 500 million dollars from the federal government allocated to fund advanced manufacturing projects over the next three years (ibid). 

There is no doubt about the current skilled labour shortage in the Canadian manufacturing industry. The question is how do we face this challenge together?

We understand that every employee is critical to your company’s long-term success. We’ve been through ultra-competitive recruiting markets before, so we know what you’re up against. Our team specializes in helping manufacturing companies recruit and hire the best candidates with the best set of hard and soft skills to do the job today and for the long term.  

HCR specializes in temporary, direct-hire, and custom solutions in general labour staffing, automotive assembly, production, heavy machine operation, and forklift throughout Ontario.  We are experts in the industries we serve, and with deep roots in the region, we understand the challenges facing both employers and job seekers. 

Whether you’re a company searching for reliable and skilled workers or a candidate looking for new job opportunities, HCR has solutions for you. We match great people with great career opportunities every day.

Why settle for just anyone when you can hire the best candidate available? 

At HCR, we are anything but a typical recruitment firm, and you will notice that difference immediately. Your recruiter will get to know you and your company first. Once we understand your company’s hiring goals we can start the search and hire process. 

At HCR, we go far beyond promises. We are committed to providing responsible, capable, high-quality employees who come to your site prepared to work. When you work with HCR, one of the leading light industrial and general labour staffing agencies in the Greater Toronto Area and Southwestern Ontario, you can expect the maximum return on your investment.

Get in touch with us online today, or call one of our recruiters at 416-622-1427. You’ll be glad you did! 



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