The City of Greater Sudbury shows the potential of facing an acute shortage of librarians.
A city-by-city breakdown of labour market shortages posted by the Northern Policy Institute (NPI) discovered there are number of library clerks and librarians in Sudbury who are nearing retirement age. Those positions made the top five of community occupations in need for the near future.
“Northern Ontario is aging,” said Alex Ross, former data analyst at NPI, who is currently working for the City of Greater Sudbury as a business development officer, in a news release.
He's the author of four briefing notes on the current and potential future labour market shortages in Sudbury, Timmins, North Bay and Sault Ste. Marie. Ross earlier published a note on the City of Thunder Bay.
“This is well known among decision makers within our communities, and multiple initiatives have been underway to counter the aging demographic and focus on filling current and future labour force needs due to retirement and out-migration," said Ross.
Other identified labour needs in Sudbury include managers in the transportation sector, civil, mechanical, electrical and chemical engineers, as well as retail and wholesale trade managers.
Timmins has the need for highly skilled people to fill management positions in engineering, sales and transportation.
There were multiple health-related occupations identified, including physicians, dentists, optometrists, and chiropractors. Auditors, accountants and investment professionals were also listed.
North Bay needs managers in health care, arts and culture, customer services, and in therapy and assessment professionals.
Other positions identified which stood out for North Bay are optometrists and chiropractors, as well as auditors, accountants and investment professionals, managers in retail and wholesale trade, food accommodations, and manufacturing, and finally, civil, mechanical, electrical and chemical engineers.
Many business occupations were identified in Sault Ste. Marie as experiencing current and future shortages. Included in the mix are managers in financial and business services, human resources and business service professionals, retail and wholesale trade managers, and administrative service managers.
Multiple health related occupations were also identified, particularly optometrists, chiropractors, physicians and dentists.
Ross said an aging population and out-migration has beeen no secret to Northern community leaders and decision-makers.
It's led to initiatives like the federal Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot, selected for this region's five largest cities and their adjacent service areas. The program is designed to attract foreign workers to these communities to fill position.
Ross said gaining an understanding of occupational shortages is helpful for guiding immigration strategies, aligning future graduates with openings, and maximizing the abilities of the North's current labour force.