2017 brought more discussions on the changing nature of work. Nationwide, the Canadian manufacturing sector is a bit like the “elephant in the room” – particularly when it comes to the role of robotics/automated machines and how manufacturing jobs will evolve in the coming years. Through a partnership with the Federal government for on-going commitments on Evergreen Labour Market Information (LMI) data collection and dissemination, EMC is at the forefront of monitoring these changes and providing insights for community-based solutions.
Changing Nature of Work
Many studies have called for a focus on “21st century skills” to enable innovation development through today’s and tomorrow’s business, technical and manufacturing essential skills. For the coming years, key questions are for Canadian manufacturers:
- What aspect of work do you replace with digitalization, robotics and/or automated machines?
- How will jobs and skills change, adapt or disappear?
- What type of new jobs, business and productivity models will be created?
Human Side of the Workplace
Interesting facts have been discovered during our 2017 work in LMI and skills development. While the “changing nature of the work” is referring to new automations and computers, employers are telling us to focus more on the “people” or the “human side” of the workplace. Further attention needs to be on skills such as communication, dealing with difficult interactions, problem solving, team management and decision making.
The timing is good - more then ever, in 2018, we will focus on the “human side” with regional cluster based training activities across Canada.
Customized Skills Solutions based on Regional Labour Market Intelligence (LMI)
2017 was a milestone year for EMC to introduce action plans based on regional Labour Market Intelligence (LMI) in manufacturing communities. EMC’s ManufacturingGPS LMI is powered by data from over 2,500 Canadian manufacturers and 100+ educators (colleges and universities), by far the largest pool of manufacturing LMI data of its kind in Canada. The objective with our Evergreen LMI is to help manufacturing communities solve their labour shortages and skills issues.
Moving into 2018, we will increase our out reach and establish new relationships with communities across Canada not only to collect evergreen LMI but also to address local skills issues based on employer validated needs. It’s a real opportunity for manufacturing communities to establish priorities and formulate action plans.
NEW National Skills Initiative: Manufacturing Essentials Certification (MEC)
Manufacturing Essentials Certification (MEC) Program was introduced in 2017. MEC is a fully funded initiative designed to help manufacturers increase their workforce essential skills and productivity levels. MEC Programs will be concentrating on two critical occupations for manufacturers: supervisors and production workers. These two occupations are rated in the top 5 in the percentage of manufacturers employing them (between 71% and 76%). In addition, supervisors and production workers are ranked in the hardest jobs to fill and are always at the top for manufacturing job vacancies.
MEC: Aligning Training to Business Needs
MEC programs are designed to align training to business needs and equip workers with the most in-demand essential skills for the industry. In return, program implementation for these two key occupations will help communities across Canada to address local skills deficits and generate millions of dollars in cost, time and efficiency savings. The programs have been validated by employers over the years and this new initiative in partnership with the Federal government is providing technical and financial resources to scale up the programs across Canada.
MEC cluster program activities are scheduled to start in early 2018 with pilots with Mississauga (Ontario) and in Prince-Edward-Island. Community partners and manufacturers interested in MEC programs are welcomed to contact Wendy Grey at firstname.lastname@example.org .
New Brunswick Government to Support Manufacturing Essential Certification Program
In June 2017, a partnership agreement was established with New Brunswick Department of Post Secondary Education, Training and Labour to address skills gaps for two key occupations (supervisors and production workers) and raise productivity levels and capabilities of NB manufacturers.
Manufacturing Essentials Certification (MEC) is bringing industry validated tools and new resources to the workforce across the province of New Brunswick (NB). Last fall, EMC has assembled a NB dynamic team with Sherri Deveau leading program coordination and three workplace essential skills facilitators. So far, 15 employers from 4 different regions are currently engaged in program delivery – representing 67 learners.
With the MEC project, EMC is establishing the foundation of a partnership framework with the Government of New Brunswick for an external delivery model of Essential Skills training for the manufacturing industry within the province.
Season Greetings and all the best to you and your family!