One of the greatest challenges facing Canadian businesses today and into the future is a shortage of skilled workers. An aging population combined with a declining birthrate has produced what some have called a “demographic time bomb”.
In London, and across the country, some businesses are already experiencing shortages, and the Conference Board of Canada predicts that by the year 2020, our country will experience a shortfall of a million workers. Skilled workers of all kinds, from those who work in the trades to trained professionals, will be in high demand to help keep existing industries productive and to fuel new businesses.
Taking Local Action
In recent years, the City of London and the LEDC have developed and implemented strategies designed to grow our economy by strengthening and expanding existing businesses, and by attracting new companies to our city. This growth is important to increase our tax base, provide higher quality jobs and improve the quality of life for all Londoners.
Our goal is to attract and retain a high quality of skilled workers, not just to increase the number of workers. Also worthy of note is the fact that the skills required in the future may be quite different from those that are needed today. This means that strategies must remain flexible and requirements must be monitored by industry sectors.
A Workforce Strategy for London, outlines action being taken by the LEDC and community partners and it offers background details on the issue. While the strategy is a work in progress and must remain flexible to meet the needs of London employers, it is designed to give our community partners, businesses, interested Londoners and potential investors information on how London is preparing to meet the workforce demands of the future.