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LEDC Survey Helps Identify London’s Workforce Challenges

Friday, February 6, 2004 - 00:00

February 4, 2003 - While almost half of London businesses are concerned about current or impending workforce shortages, few have developed a formal employee retention program. That was just one of the interesting and valuable findings of a recent survey by the London Economic Development Corporation. The study was commissioned to help determine the workforce challenges and issues most important to London businesses. The information will be used by LEDC and its partners as they develop plans to assist employers to address workforce challenges.

Faced with warnings about a widespread shortage of skilled workers and responding to specific concerns voiced by London employers, LEDC has now taken two proactive steps to assess workforce needs and develop solutions.

Earlier this year the LEDC recruited a Director of Workforce Development, Jeny Wallace, to tackle this challenge. The second step was the commissioning of the workforce survey, which was sent to over 1,100 London businesses with the help of Human Resource Professionals of London District (HRPLD).

“All Canadian cities are facing the same kinds of challenges,” said LEDC President and CEO John Kime, “but London is ahead of the game simply by taking the steps it has. Our businesses have made it clear that workforce issues are their greatest concern. We need to do all we can to ensure that London is well positioned to supply local businesses with appropriate staff, now and into the future.”

An impressive 22% of businesses that were contacted provided a response to the survey and the results have been compiled to provide a full report outlining London’s workforce needs and resources.

“This report gives us a good snapshot,” says Wallace. “It shows us where some of the gaps are and it will help us to identify the best places to direct supports and resources.”

Now that the report is completed, LEDC will begin to work with community stakeholders to develop strategies to address the needs that have been identified. LEDC is currently sharing the results of the survey with other organizations that may be developing programs and activities related to workforce development.

For more information about the LEDC study and London’s workforce development strategies, please contact Jeny Wallace, Director Workforce Development at the LEDC at 661-4526. The full report may be viewed through www.ledc.com/publications.

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