Many factors are shaping the year ahead for businesses and their employees across Canada. Falling oil prices are expected to continue for some time; consumers and government will carry even deeper debt loads and Generation Z will begin entering the job market while Boomerang Boomers continue to fill the void in various skilled trades.
While we saw flat job growth last year, economists and organizations have shown optimism for the year ahead. Here’s what we’re predicting will happen in 2015 across the Canadian labour market landscape and what companies, employees and job seekers should be paying close attention to:
Canada to see movement from West to East Discussions with clients from various industries confirm that the demand for skilled engineers and technical workers is far from drying up. We predict a rise and move in the second quarter. With a lower Canadian dollar, the manufacturing industry will have a strong start to the year, and we can project higher demand in manufacturing professionals working in this export rich market environment.
All regions and sectors will need an influx of highly skilled workers, specifically the manufacturing centres of Southwestern Ontario, prospected liquefied natural gas projects in British Columbia, mega-hydroelectric construction in Manitoba and Quebec, and Western Canada’s vigorous energy sector in spite of the stated lower energy prices. Recent investments in aerospace will return benefits in employment in this sector in 2015.
Technical fields will be in high demand That will be spurred on by manufacturing, aerospace and warehousing and logistics. Approximately 80% of the provinces’ total exports are made by Ontario manufacturers and throughout 2014, even when certain sectors weren’t hiring, the manufacturing sector was booming. In addition to the work that will be required this year, Statistics Canada says, there are also unfilled orders across the machinery industry, engine and power transmission equipment and agricultural, construction and mining industry, which will mean huge job gains.
Skills gap and youth unemployment will remain a challenge Last year we saw heightened conversation around contributing factors to youth unemployment: unpaid internships, a mismatch in skills and graduates having to work part-time jobs because their chosen industry is over-saturated. This is still very much a problem. Managers say a huge portion of today’s graduates aren’t thinking about the jobs of the future, causing them to not have the skills necessary for the jobs available. And when it comes to skilled trades, a shift in thinking needs to be made in schools and at home that the blue collar jobs of yesterday are the white collar jobs of today and tomorrow.
Employers want an all-in-one employee Employers will want to see more out of their employees like never before. With companies increasingly understanding the value in training and hearing from employees about the need for up-keeping skills to retain staff, they’re looking to see these new skills in action. Companies are thinking about the needs of the future and certain skills are going to be necessary, such as being new-media literate, being able to understand concepts across multiple disciplines, being affluent in a variety of tools and techniques, virtual teamwork, and the ability to problem solve in creative and non-traditional ways.
Gen-Z will bring in changes in the workplace This generation is all about out-of-the-box thinking and using multiple channels and tools to find solutions. These workers have been brought up with access to everything through the touch of a fingertip and it’s because of this that they won’t feel the need to wait for direction or instruction like generations before. They also don’t measure productivity by being constrained to a desk and will want to see flexibility as they view themselves as valuable freelancers.