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Labour marketing intelligence is a significant key to success

The Canadian manufacturing sector is no exception

Labour market information (LMI) is key to the success of any industry. Workers need to know what work is available and what benefits are being offered by employers. Employers need to understand the supply of labour and current compensation rates by occupation.

The Canadian manufacturing sector is no different; both workers and employers in the manufacturing sector need a cohesive source for all LMI, yet one that responds to the differing needs across sub-sectors and geographic manufacturing hubs.

In the past, the LMI available to the Canadian manufacturing sector was limited. Due to the mobility of labour from within and from outside Canada, and from one industry to another, manufacturers needed an LMI system that forecasted the supply and demand of the workforce from a pan-manufacturing perspective and accounts for competition for workers from other sectors. The sector needed a trusted source of more than traditional LMI, that also included HR benchmarks and other market information. To remain competitive in a globalized market, manufacturers, workers, economic development agencies, governments, and other industry stakeholders needed better LMI.

The first stage of meeting this need was the creation of the ManufacturingGPS by Excellence in Manufacturing Consortium (EMC). This unique platform was designed to collect and maintain LMI across the manufacturing sector, including 15 sub-sectors and over 50 manufacturing hubs. Between 2014 and 2017, ManufacturingGPS collected and reported on data for nine occupational groups provided by over 2,500 employers and by over 100 educational institutions. Through this platform, manufacturers, workers, economic development agencies, governments, and other industry stakeholders have accessed the critical LMI they needed.

Despite this success, the challenge to any LMI initiative is to maintain momentum. Over the succeeding few years, the numbers of employers providing data ebbed. And yet manufacturers, workers, economic development agencies, governments, and other industry stakeholders still demanded this information. It was time for the next stage of ManufacturingGPS: ensuring that ManufacturingGPS remains evergreen and responds to the ongoing need to support the manufacturing workforce.

Furthermore, employers needed to make informed decisions around skills development: How much should they be investing? Should they be investing in occupation-specific technical skills or foundational skills, such as literacy and numeracy? What kinds of training mechanisms should they be employing?

To renew efforts to meet the ongoing need for LMI data during this unprecedented time, EMC launched the 2020 ManufacturingGPS study, which surveyed companies across all manufacturing industries to collect data on:

Labour market information (LMI) and HR benchmarks, such salaries/wages by occupation, number of staff by occupation, turnover rates; and

Skills development, including experiences in training, preferences for financial and non-financial incentives, and various funding models that can encourage investment in training.

R.A. Malatest & Associated Ltd. (Malatest) assisted EMC in administering the survey to more than 700 manufacturing companies and reporting on the findings.

This report summarizes findings from the LMI and HR benchmarks arising from the 2021-22 ManufacturingGPS study. The report aims to communicate the current state of the Canadian manufacturing sector, including insights on current and future workforce and skills development.

For a downloadable, full copy of the report, please click here