Canadian manufacturers face a critical economic issue according to their industry association: a shortage of skilled labour.
Recent pronouncements by federal NDP leader Thomas Mulcair that a high-valued Canadian dollar is hurting Canadian manufacturers is inaccurate say Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters.
In a recent article available online at the Financial Post, Jay Myers, president of Ottawa-based Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters said claims that Canada suffers from Dutch Disease “are a misdiagnosis.”
“If anything, the first thing I hear talking to those companies that supply [the natural resources] sector is [the challenge in] finding people and I think what we’ll see over the next couple of years is that those labour shortages will spread across the country and companies will have to be more innovative in the way they supply these projects.”
In his article, author Dan Ovsey notes that Canadian manufacturers are experiencing a relative boom in growth as they’ve added over 115,000 jobs in the past 6 months alone. To sustain growth and to deal with the shortage of skilled labour, Canadian companies will have to tackle productivity issues Mr. Myers says:
“Productivity isn’t just about removing costs. It’s about increasing the value around your existing product or increasing the value of the product itself, and you do that by new product development through innovation and improving technology and the functional capabilities of the product; or, customizing through design or through the service you’re providing for the product — the support services, the logistics, the customer service, the financing, which is really important.”
These kinds of innovations—especially when they serve Canada’s oil and gas industry—happen all across Canada, in the manufacturing, financial, logistics and support services sectors. As we’ve noted before, it is Canada’s oil boom.