Training Investment Declining!

January 3, 2020 Wendy GrayEMC Member Services 185 Views

Manufacturing Insights : Training Investment Declining!

ManufacturingGPS 2019 - Labour Market Intelligence at your fingertips

Increasing the skill levels of our manufacturing workforce is clearly one of the biggest challenges facing today’s Canadian manufacturing sector.  New ManufacturingGPS Labour Market Intelligence (Compensation Survey) results are showing that manufacturers (NAICS code 31-33 and Canada-wide) invest in average of $370 per employee and per year in training activities*, representing a decrease of 30% compared to 2017.

Training Investment is 30% lower compared to 2017!

2017 Training Investment: $541        2018 Training Investment: $370

With much research highlighting the economic benefits (one being EMC’s Manufacturing Essentials Case Studies) of skills development activities and the skills gap being reported a national issue by manufacturers, ManufacturingGPS LMI is showing that investing in training activities is still a “hard sell” in manufacturing and not necessarily a priority for a large percentage of employers. It can be difficult in today’s economy to focus on training and development when you as an organization are struggling to fill a growing list of vacant roles.

Training Investment ManufacturingGPS Highlights:

  • Manufacturers are still behind Canada’s overall average of $889 (all sectors) per employee on learning and development in 2016–17 - source: Conference Board of Canada.
  • Many studies have shown a spending decline on training and learning activities in the last decades. Since 2016, ManufacturingGPS surveyed more than 2500 Canadian manufacturers to determine if in the past 12 months they supported any learning/training activities to develop essential, technical or business skills. The survey results are indicating that 33% of the participating manufacturers (data from all Canada) are not investing in training activities.
  • The main driver behind training is to narrow the skills gap of employees. Employers are providing training for both existing employees (90%) and new hires (73%). To support career development (72%) and to become certified or maintain certification (69%) are also in the top reasons for employers to offer training.
  • Employers are still reporting frustrations at not being able to hire skilled workers – as evidence Applicants lack of skills required at 74% is number #1 cause for difficulty to hire. Low Number of Applicants comes in at second at 72%, an increase of 17% from 2017.
  • ManufacturingGPS shows that 78% of manufacturers believe that their staff do not require training however with the top cause for vacancies related to applicants not having the skills required, therefore it can be hard to understand why organizations are not more focused on training and development.
  • Customized Reports available at the national, provincial and regional levels. For example, in Ontario, the average for 2018 is actually under the national average at $236, a decrease of $356 compared to 2017 – which was $592.70.

2019 Survey and Access

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If your company would like to be considered as one of the participating organizations, please contact: – and a GPS representative will contact you or register online,

We look forward to your continued participation in ManufacturingGPS initiative!  If you require further information, please contact, or call 1-866-323-4362.

*ManufacturingGPS training investment question: Over the past 12 months, how much did your company spend on these skills development activities (this can include amounts spent on external courses, internal training staff, salaries for workers while on training and administrative time to organize the activities)?