MRO Magazine

Engineering shortages lead Ontario job seekers to go where the action is


March 7, 2013
By PEM Magazine

Job seekers in Ontario should focus their training and job searches towards fields with looming skills shortages, according to Randstad Canada.

Given the importance of job creation for youth in Ontario, Randstad Canada believes it’s essential to channel young people entering the workforce into fields with high demand for talent, including engineering, IT, and skilled trades.

“In particular, it makes sense to encourage youth in Ontario to consider engineering as a worthwhile career option,” said Keith Wark, vice-president, central and eastern region with Randstad Engineering. “This is a sector that is clearly in need of seasoned professionals as older engineers retire. If we want to develop that pool of talent, we must hire and develop young engineers now.”

The recently released study, Engineering Labour Market in Canada: Projections to 2020, commissioned by Engineers Canada and sponsored by Randstad Engineering, reveals that Canada is facing a short supply of engineers with more than 10 years of experience, and that supply and demand imbalances in the engineering sector are becoming more serious, specifically in Ontario:


Findings from the Labour Market report note that resource projects in the north and infrastructure upgrades in most regions drive job creation, and that steady improvements in manufacturing create supply pressures for industrial engineers. Additionally, it notes that resource and infrastructure projects add jobs and create significant supply pressures for mining and civil engineers, while steady improvements in manufacturing create supply pressures for industrial engineers.

Randstad Canada’s own projections see a growing demand for engineers in Ontario’s aerospace sector, which requires a highly skilled workforce to deal with aging commercial fleets that will soon need to be replaced. Demand is also growing for engineers in the construction sector, a result of new infrastructure projects. The growth in construction has resulted in an imbalance in the supply of engineers and other highly skilled workers.

Construction activity has been growing and is expected to plateau from 2014 to 2016 and grow moderately, while resource activity in mining and other areas contributes to overall gains for engineers. Expansion demand is gaining momentum and markets are tightening quickly in resource related areas.

While labour market conditions vary from region to region, Ontario in particular must find ways to strike a balance between retiring skilled engineers, and training incoming graduates and international candidates.

“We are encouraged by the provincial government’s stated commitment to youth employment and its understanding of the needs of Ontario’s labour market, ” said Wark. ‘’New projects mean great prospects for young engineers, but employers will need to start hiring based on potential instead of just experience, as a way to counterbalance labour shortages.”