Tackling Canada’s labour shortage with corporate and short-term training

Canada is facing significant labour shortage, with job vacancies peaking at 1,036,755 in May 2022. Despite a slight vacancy decrease towards the end of 2022, the issue remains pressing.

A statement from Leah Nord, the Senior Director of Workforce Strategies and Inclusive Growth at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, highlighted the severity of Canada’s labour shortage crisis, noting that one out of every 20 jobs is currently unfilled.

Businesses must invest in corporate and short-term training to upskill and reskill their workforce in response to this challenge. GUS Canada and partners FutureLearn and Jolt are addressing this issue by offering accessible and flexible training options.

The impact of the labour shortage on Canada’s economy

The labour shortage in Canada affects businesses and the economy in several ways:

  1. Hindered growth:  With a lack of skilled workers, businesses struggle to grow and expand, limiting the country’s economic progress. Small and medium-sized enterprises, which are the backbone of the Canadian economy, may find it particularly challenging to scale up their operations and tap into the market without an adequate workforce, leading to stagnation and decreased economic growth. According to a report by the Business Development Bank of Canada, labour shortages have been identified as a significant barrier to growth, with 40% of these businesses struggling to find new employees in recent years.
  2. Increased competition: Companies are competing for a limited pool of skilled workers, driving up wages and recruitment costs. As the demand for skilled employees outpaces the supply, businesses may have to offer higher salaries and benefits to attract and retain talent. This increased cost burden can put pressure on company finances, especially for smaller businesses with limited resources.
  3. Lower productivity: Without adequate staffing, businesses may experience reduced productivity and efficiency. Employees may become overworked and stressed, leading to burnout and decreased job satisfaction. Moreover, a smaller workforce could result in longer wait times for customers, lower-quality products or services and reduced innovation.

Corporate and short-term training

The impact of this labour shortage on Canada’s recovery and long-term growth is significant. By providing ongoing learning opportunities, companies can:

  1. Retain and develop talent: Training programs encourage employee loyalty and help develop a more skilled and versatile workforce. A 2021 report from LinkedIn found that 94% of employees would stay at a company longer if it invested in their learning and development. By investing in employees’ development, businesses can create a positive work environment and reduce staff turnover. A well-trained workforce can adapt to changing market conditions and contribute to the company’s long-term success.
  2. Fill the skills gaps: Corporate training can help identify and address skills gaps, reducing the need for external hires. Randstad Canada identified the most in-demand jobs in Canada for 2023. Some occupations with the highest demand include the service industry, technology and health care. By tailoring training programs to target specific areas of need within the workforce, businesses can ensure that employees have the necessary skills to excel in their roles and meet company objectives.
  3. Improve productivity and competitiveness: A well-trained workforce is better equipped to adapt to industry changes, maintain a competitive edge and contribute to the company’s overall success. According to Deloitte, companies with a strong learning culture were 3.6 times more likely to be innovative and agile. By investing in employee training, businesses can enhance efficiency, increase innovation and drive growth.

As the labour market evolves, investing in corporate and short-term training will be essential for businesses to address skills gaps and maintain a competitive edge in the global economy. A solution to address the labour shortage crisis, as suggested by Leah Nord, is the modernization of Employment Insurance (EI). By reforming the EI system to better respond to regional and sectoral labour market needs, it can support individuals through temporary job loss with financial assistance and training resources. Transforming EI into a talent development process will help tackle the labour shortage and skills gap challenges facing the Canadian economy, ultimately benefitting businesses and individuals.

Accessible and flexible training options

Recognizing the importance of effective corporate and short-term training initiatives, GUS Canada has developed its Training Viewbook, which showcases a comprehensive selection of short-term training programs. GUS Canada has also forged strategic partnerships with FutureLearn and Jolt, allowing them to tap into the expertise and resources of these industry-leading platforms and provide valuable learning opportunities for businesses.

FutureLearn is a digital education platform offering on-demand, career-focused online learning from world-class institutions. By providing a wide range of courses across various industries, FutureLearn enables professionals to develop new skills and enhance their expertise. The platform ensures that learners can access high-quality educational resources, helping them stay ahead in the rapidly evolving job market.

Jolt, on the other hand, is a global ed-tech company that focuses on the needs of the tech market. Jolt designs training programs based on tech industry jobs and methods, which are delivered by tech professionals. Jolt’s courses include hands-on practice, ensuring participants gain real-world experience and create products they can showcase to potential employers.

The GUS Canada Training Viewbook features programs in various fields, including Big Data, Business, Creative Industries, English as a Second Language, Hospitality & Tourism and Information Technology. These programs can be tailored to meet each organization’s unique needs, ensuring the training is relevant and impactful.

Together, GUS Canada, FutureLearn and Jolt offer a comprehensive solution for businesses seeking to upskill and reskill their workforce, addressing the labour shortage and contributing to Canada’s economic growth.

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