Engineering and Technology Labour Market Study

This study is examining the current and future employment picture within the engineering and technology sectors of the Canadian economy. Five issues are the focal point of the study:

  • Employer labour requirements
  • The available workforce
  • Attitudes and practices related to certification and licensing
  • The role of diversity groups
  • Globalization

You can check out the affiliated website or an interim report.

Here are some points of interest from the interim report.

  • Individuals who obtained their engineering degrees outside Canada accounted for approximately20% of all employment in engineering occupations
  • In 2006, members of visible minorities accounted for 25.8% of engineering employment and 14.9% of technology employment
  • In BC The engineering age profile is older than average and this adds to supply pressures

Those of you who attended our workshop on “soft-skills” will be aware of the following points:

  • Asked to rank a range of non-technical skills, by far the majority of employers ranked most of these skills between ‘essential’ and ‘very important’.
  •  More than 50% of employers identified serious weakness in the
    non-technical skills of internationally educated professionals as the greatest obstacle to hiring them into engineering jobs

 

Fostering diversity

This Globe & Mail article examines why some businesses are committed to having a diverse workforce. Diversity is the new workplace buzzword because:

  • A shrinking labour pool is forcing employers to look at workers who have been traditionally marginalized.
  • Business is becoming more global in nature and it can be a distinct advantage to have staff who are culturally sensitive and can speak other languages.
  • Organizations are seeing the benefit of their workforce being able to represent the customers they serve.

Banking on Diversity

On Friday the Financial Post ran an article about the benefits of diversity in the workplace. Employers in general are becoming aware of the importance of having a workforce that reflects the community as a whole. In particular Canada’s banks are are singled out as being at the tip of the spear in terms of promoting a diverse workforce.

“If you look at how the banks now staff their branches, they reflect the cultural diversity in the local community,” says Kevin McLellan, manager for hireimmigrants.ca, a Web site of the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC) … “So if businesses want to be successful in selling locally, they need to understand how to tailor their offerings to the culturally diverse communities they are selling to.”

The best way to understand how to do this is through employees who are part of the local communities and understand the language and the nuances of the culture. They can connect with customers if they are frontline workers or help develop strategies and campaigns that will connect your company to multi-cultural communities

If you visit the web sites of Canadian Banks you will see evidence of this commitment to diversity. Banking in Canada is a federally regulated industry and banks are required under the Employment Equity Act to provide equal opportunities for employment to four designated groups: women; Aboriginal peoples; persons with disabilities; and members of visible minorities.