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Looking for a Solution to Labour Shortage?

By Myriam Laganière - July 04, 2019

Are your employees working more and more? Did you have to review all of the conditions offered to your employees to attract labor and retain your employees? Your growth is slowed down? Did you have to give up some orders or have late orders? These consequences stem in part from the current labor shortage in Canada. According to a recent study by the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), nearly 40% of Canadian small and medium-sized businesses are struggling to hire new employees and the situation is not yet improving. The impacts of this shortage are numerous and significant. According to the same study, businesses that are more affected by labor shortages are 65% more likely to experience low growth. How to deal quickly with the shortage of manpower?

Improving productivity as a solution to the shortage of labour

Improving productivity through investments in technology and employee training seems like a solution to consider. According to a BDC study, 44% of entrepreneurs affected by the labor shortage are adopting measures to improve efficiency. Fortunately, the technological shift is well underway, because according to the Quebec Industrial Barometer, 76% of manufacturing SMEs in Quebec have integrated digital technologies or plan to implement them in the coming year. We must now ensure that employee training follows the same pace. In fact, with the labor shortage, employers must turn to a lower-skilled, younger workforce that will have to work in highly technological work environments that will become increasingly complex. Investment in training is essential for employees to develop the skills required by the technological shift.

Improving productivity through increased use of technology will allow manufacturing firms to reduce their dependence on the labor force. Continuous improvement plans, performance indicators and dashboards are operational strategies that enable small- and medium-sized businesses to mitigate the effects of labor shortages (BDC, 2018). These technology investments, combined with a rigorous employee training program, will help companies reduce the negative impacts of the labor shortage.

Government investment

The Quebec government recently announced that it would provide $ 11.2 million to help businesses increase their productivity in order to address the labor shortage. These funds will be used by companies to reorganize the work, notably through digitization and automation. About 1,200 companies are covered by the government's new measure, which came into force on March 4th. From now on, the Ministry of Labor will cover 85% of work reorganization costs to increase productivity, rather than the maximum of 50% offered to date. Get immediate information from your local employment center!

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