Officials in Saskatchewan are looking to Alberta as an example of how to deal with labour shortages as the province continues to negotiate the challenges of an economy growing more rapidly than its labour force.
In a recent editorial for the Regina Leader-Post, Canadian Home Builders’ Association – Saskatchewan president and CEO Alan Thomarat argues that the province should focus more on training and development programs rather than recruitment strategies if it hopes to be able to keep up with demand – particularly in the booming construction sector where skilled workers are particularly scarce.
Thomarat points out that the majority of workers in the trades are now over the age of 50 and will therefore be retiring in the next decade or so. There should already be replacement workers in training programs and apprentice positions but the numbers are lacking and more needs to be done to attract workers.
There are several possible courses of action, Thomarat argues, and they can and should all be pursued as soon as possible. For instance, small business owners now can start taking steps to implement succession plans where younger workers learn how to run and eventually take over the business. Additionally, both the federal and provincial levels of government should do more to promote careers in the trades.
From his perspective, Saskatchewan is in a prime position to attract and retain the workers needed to sustain the strong economic position it now occupies. Now it remains more critical than ever for all invested parties to do what they can to ensure that this does, in fact, happen.
Source: Regina Leader-Post