A new online tool connecting skilled workers, employers, industry groups, educational institutions and government is tackling fears of a looming labour crisis that is expected to produce up to 500,000 vacant jobs across the country over the next decade. Launched on March 1, iCME.ca is the only national website of its kind, pairing candidate skill sets, education and practical experience with the specific needs of Canadian manufacturers and exporters.
“Attracting and retaining qualified employees is the most significant challenge jeopardizing economic growth,” explains Jayson Myers, president and CEO of Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) – the group spearheading the initiative. “And the gap will not be limited to any one sector. So it’s critical we centralize our efforts to identify and promote these in-demand career opportunities to the next generation of Canada’s workforce.”
iCME.ca is more than just a jobs board; it is a comprehensive centre for both short-term and long-term employment solutions, from apprenticeship and skills training to Aboriginal inclusion and internationally trained workers.
Several major stakeholder groups have partnered to help launch the site, including Skills Canada, Citizenship and Immigration Canada, as well as the Society of Manufacturing Engineers.
“We need to shift the conversation and start to develop a national strategy to address labour shortages,” says Sarah Watts-Rynard, executive director of the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum. “There is no one magic bullet. It will take a truly collaborative effort from all stakeholders in all regions of Canada. iCME.ca can be a catalyst for that dialogue.”
While a majority of new jobs will rely upon skilled tradespeople, including 800,000 alone in Alberta’s oil sands by 2030, the growth of global supply chains have created hundreds of new, innovative career paths in manufacturing – from environmental specialists and high-tech product engineers to logistics experts and international trade professionals.
“People and skills are the currency of Canada’s new economy,” says Caroline Tompkins, president of the Forum for International Trade Training (FITT). “We no longer can afford to do our own thing. We need to work together on developing tangible solutions, and translate good intentions into real benefits for Canadian companies.”
Job seekers and employers alike can create customized profiles absolutely free.