MRO Magazine

Canadian manufacturers want to hire but can’t find the right people


December 5, 2011
By PEM Magazine

Half of Canadian manufacturers surveyed in a poll say they’re looking to hire next year, but they expect to face trouble finding workers with the right expertise.

Only five percent of respondents reported they are planning to reduce their workforces

“Despite some doom and gloom surrounding the manufacturing industry of late, it is not all bad news for Canadian manufacturers,” said Calum Semple, a consulting partner at PwC.

A third-quarter report by PwC says a flurry of activity in the Canadian mining, energy and aerospace industries is creating demand — but employers say there’s a lack of skilled workers.


The study found 45 per cent of manufacturers say the limited number of workers has proven to be a “significant barrier for growth.”

“The Canadian economy is experiencing a significant shortage of skilled workers at all levels, from welders and engineers to HVAC technicians,” Semple said.

“This is an opportunity for Canadians looking for skilled employment to boost their incomes, but they may have to be willing to be retrained and relocate, as many of these job opportunities are not in the big cities.”

Key areas where companies say they are looking for workers include in technicians (45 per cent) and skilled labourers (26 per cent), the report said.

The study also found that a third of manufacturers who responded said they are planning new and major capital investments in 2012.

PwC conducts a quarterly manufacturing barometer survey that includes 38 Canadian-based manufacturers.