Provincial manufacturers expressed concerns to CME about the shrinking supply of workers with skilled trade and production line expertise. These concerns stimulated CME to conduct further research and analysis. This indicated a skills gap is developing in Newfoundland and Labrador - one that will grow over the next 10-15 years. Planning for the future skills gap is critical for the sustainability and growth of Newfoundland and Labrador’s manufacturing sector and the province as a whole.
CME conducted secondary research using Statistics Canada and Newfoundland Statistics data on demographics and employment. In addition, CME performed an analysis on graduate statistics, Canadian jobs trends, and perceptions of skilled trades and technologies. CME also administered a human resources survey to the manufacturing sector.
CME’s research sought to answer the following:
The following represents CME’s analysis and conclusions regarding each of these questions:
According to CME’s research, an expanding industrial skills gap is looming. Population decline, increasing retirees, a decreasing number of high school graduates, and growing demand for industrial jobs have jointly prompted the development of a skills gap.
According to Newfoundland Statistics, the industrial sector is growing at an estimated rate of 2% per year (740 people), and the retirement rate is approximately 4% per year (1,480 people), introducing a 6% demand for human resources annually.Thus, sector growth and retirements create a demand for 2,100 positions per year in the industrial sector. Allowing technological advances to aid productivity improvements, this amount is reduced by 1.5% of the sector, or by 530. This nets to 1,700 person- years required annually.