Lack of Skilled Workers: A Challenge

As of late, a lot of Canadian companies are feeling the effects of the lack of skilled workers in their organization. Around 24% of employers state that they have been unsuccessful in finding the right candidates with the right skill set – with some positions being unfilled for over 12 weeks or longer. Employers also claim that this lack of skilled workers and open positions have hurt their finances.


Employers report that one of the biggest reason they face difficulties in filling these positions is the lack of available applicants.  Other employers claim that some candidates are unwilling to work for the salary offered or that they lack interpersonal skills for the job.

Additionally, there are not enough workers graduating in in-demand fields and some that lack interest in the required field. There are also a growing number of entry level jobs that are becoming more challenging with regards to skills and therefore making them harder to fill.

Some employers have taken on the job training to tackle this problem while others opt to hire candidates that lack the necessary skills then train them while they are working.  Employers that do on-the-job training have seen an increase in employee satisfaction and loyalty.

The shortage of skills is deemed as one of the greatest economic challenges that Canada would face in the next decade.  Skills Canada has estimated that Canada would need about 1 million skilled trade workers by 2020 for all the projects planned.

While Canada is competing on a global scale,  it is difficult with huge investments requirements and opportunities that lack skilled workers.   As of late, construction, mining, and petroleum are some of the industries suffering massively from the lack of skilled workers.

There are pockets of unemployment across Canada, companies will have to tap into these and increase mobility of skilled workers across the country.


A way to future proof the supply of skilled workers in Canada is by increasing our funding towards youth apprenticeship programs. We have to work together to emphasize the value and benefit in trades.  In Europe, an apprenticeship certificate carries as much value as a university degree. Most of these students graduate at 19 without debt.

Back in 2002, when Alberta was in a boom and required workers, it tapped into the aboriginal youth to promote trades and apprenticeship. This bumped up the number of apprentices from 200 to 1,100 in the aboriginal community alone. This was all done by promotion of skill trades through schools and communicating the attractiveness of certain industries to the youth.

The problem of skills shortage still stands as of today. As recruiters, we identify such pockets and star employees pretty quickly. Goldbeck Recruiting has over 25 years of experience recruiting for companies globally and across a range of industries.


Canada’s coming economic headache: A serious shortage of skilled workers

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Henry Goldbeck

Henry E. Goldbeck, President of Goldbeck Recruiting Inc, is a Certified Personnel Consultant (CPC) and founded Goldbeck Recruiting in 1997. Since then, Henry has built the company's reputation as a leading headhunter and recruitment agency in sales, marketing, operations, engineering, and executive level positions across a variety of industries.

President & CEO at Goldbeck Recruiting Inc.

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