Workforce Profiling In The Five Eastern Counties: A study of Employability needs and training practices
A. Research Purpose and General Findings:
In a continuing effort to "better understand the composition of our labour force, its skill sets and potential as our enviable workforce" the Eastern Ontario Training Board commissioned a survey of key community leaders and employers representing all economic sectors across the Five Counties Eastern Counties of Ontario.
The research was completed in March 2000 with the following general findings:
- Information gathered from "key informants" (relevant community leaders) indicated that basic literacy continues to be a concern relative to the employability of the workforce in the Eastern Counties.
Employers most often identified teamwork, self-management and related "soft" skills as the skills most desired from their employees and suggest that overall the workforce needs much training in these skills.
- Literacy is a major issue in the development of competitive labour pools. The Community, School Boards, HRDC, Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities must focus more efforts on developing policies and mechanisms that will help correct the literacy problem in the Five Counties.
- Government sponsored employment adjustment policies, programs and services should take into account the "employability" needs of both unemployed and employed workers. Services should be refocused to better reflect the continuing evolution of an economy that requires positive adjustment interventions before instead of only after companies shut down.
- More research is needed to better understand the extent to which growing technology needs of current and future employers in the Five Counties will become a key determinant of workforce employability in the years to come.
- Education for employees and employers should be provided to reinforce their understanding of the value of training and education, within the context of the "learning organization" model, as this represents a key strategy for creating a highly competitive ("enviable") workforce in the Five Counties.
C. Information Highlights from 30 "Key Informant" Interviews:
Five priorities for government support in education and training are recommended
- Provide basic education;
- Support efficient human capital markets through better education;
- Support efficient human capital markets through better credit tools;
- Broker collaborative relationships; and
- Facilitate the labour market entry of youth
1. When compared to other jurisdictions in Ontario a greater proportion of residents in the 5 Counties require skill development in the area of basic literacy (reading, mathematics and computer technology skills).
2. There is a current and growing need for skills in technology and the industrial trades.
3. Personal management and associated "soft" skills are very important, and are generally lacking in the current workforce.
For more information contact:
Denis Thibault, Executive Director
Eastern Ontario Training Board