Explaining the Skills Gap in the Labour Market

Are you looking for work?  Are you having a tough time finding a job? Are you made to feel that you don’t have the skills that employers are looking for? Here are a few facts to consider:

1. There are more people looking for work than job vacancies

According to Stats Can, the current unemployment rate in Ontario (February 2015) is 6.8%. However, in 2015 the latest job vacancy rate is 2.3%. To put that into perspective, these numbers mean for every 1 job opening, 1 person will get the job and 3 won’t. Aside from that, out of all the job openings, how many of those do you meet the qualifications for? So what do you do? Take some training so that you have the educational qualifications for it? But how do you make that decision?

2. There isn’t a current and easily accessible Labour Market Report

Try looking for a good labour market prospects report on Google that helps come up with a list of jobs where you take some training and there is a guaranteed job when you’re done. I have tried myself, and I feel the same way as Chris Sorenson who wrote “The Myths About Canada’s Skills Gap”. It’s definitely not easy to find good current labour market reports to give you the information you need.

3.  Jobs that will always have good labour market prospects

Benjamin Franklin says that there are only two things certain in life: death and taxes. Of course, we understand this is just an exageration. But think about it, you have a job because people need to have you do something for them. What do we know that people certainly need? People are always going to need food, so we need food manufacturers, producers, grocery stores, restaurants, etc. People are always going to get sick, so why not consider a job in healthcare?  People will always need protection from crime, that’s why we need the police services and a justice system. People will die, so funeral services will always have job openings.

There are two kinds of jobs that employers want Employer Liaisons/Job Developers to fill:  (1) Jobs that other people do not want to do; and (2) Highly-skilled, specialized jobs. 

Think about jobs that everyone else doesn’t want to do, and if you’re willing to do it, you are more likely to have a good prospect. The other jobs employers call Job Developers for? Highly-skilled, specialized jobs; Do you ever hear of unemployed electricians, carpenters, CNC programmers, Heavy Equipment Operators, IT/Web Applications Specialists, and Engineers? Or how about doctors and lawyers, do we ever see them openly and actively searching?

Here’s the bottom line

It’s not that the jobs aren’t out there. You getting the job depends on your strategy based on labour market principles. The important question you need to ask yourself before deciding on a career path is “does this path lead to a good labour market prospect for me?”

by Mike Taculad, Employer Liaison/Job Developer, guest blogger for Agilec


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