Thursday, May 28, 2009


Where the jobs are: skilled professions


From Thursday's Globe and Mail, Thursday, May. 28, 2009 07:10AM EDT

More Canadians may be searching for work, but a report to be released today suggests some sectors are still having trouble filling certain positions.

Skilled trades, such as carpenters and plumbers, along with sales reps, engineers, technicians and accountants are the jobs employers are having most difficulties filling, a Manpower Canada survey of 1,909 employers shows.

The survey comes as the recession has thrown more than 321,000 Canadians out of work, sending the jobless rate to a seven-year high of 8 per cent. Yet even as joblessness rises, today's list suggests demand remains for some skilled professions.

"These results indicate that while more people may be looking for jobs, they don't generally have the skills that organizations are looking for," the report said.

The survey comes on the heels of a new report on Canada's job market, prepared for the federal and provincial labour ministers and obtained by The Globe and Mail, which detailed inefficiencies in the way the country collects and shares information about employment. That report found, for example, little co-ordinated knowledge about job vacancies across the country, or how many people are graduating from postsecondary training and what skills they have.

The Manpower survey also comes as the federal government is boosting spending on job retraining in response to rising unemployment. Some economists believe the jobless rate will veer into double-digit territory - around 10 per cent - over the coming year.

"As people consider work, they now have the opportunity to look at where the talent shortages exist for Canada, and what would suit them in terms of interest and aptitude," said Nadia Ciani, Manpower's vice-president of human resources.

Compared with previous years, the fastest-growing area for jobs lies in engineering, personal assistants and teachers, particularly at the postsecondary level, Ms. Ciani said.

Canadian companies, many of which have downsized in recent months, are far less concerned about talent shortages than they were a few years ago. Just 24 per cent of employers this year said they have difficulty filling positions, far fewer than in 2006, when 66 per cent of them were worried.

The survey was conducted in January and is part of an annual global Manpower release that polled 39,000 employers. Worldwide, it found that 30 per cent of companies are still having difficulty filling certain positions, and that the most sought-after jobs are much the same as in Canada - skilled trades, sales reps and engineers - along with managers and production operators.


Workers wanted

The top 10 jobs Canadian employers are having trouble filling, according to a new survey by Manpower Canada:

1. Skilled trades, such

as carpenters or plumbers.

2. Sales representatives.

3. Engineers.

4. Technicians, such as audio or dental technicians.

5. Secretaries and office support staff.

6. Teachers, particularly at

postsecondary level.

7. Drivers.

8. Accounting and finance.

9. Labourers.

10. Nurses.

Source: Manpower Canada