Essential Labour Data on Worker Demographics and Skills Shortages to Help Immigrants Plan a Successful Career Path | MyConsultant

Essential Labour Data on Worker Demographics and Skills Shortages to Help Immigrants Plan a Successful Career Path

Essential Labour Data on Worker Demographics and Skills Shortages to Help Immigrants Plan a Successful Career Path

Canada's demographic is shifting.

With 21.8% of workers aged 55 to 64 and due to retire, Canada's workplaces are losing valuable long-term employees, with decades of experience and talent at the same time as our natural population is dwindling below replacement values (Canada's fertility rate is currently 1.40 per woman). Since Canada already experiences chronic skills and labour shortages, the hundreds of thousands of immigrants arriving to work and live in Canada each year will play a vital role in filling the vacant positions that keep our economy and services running effectively in the future. Empowering newcomers with the knowledge and proper training in critical industries now will ensure immigrants have the education, skills, and experience required to fill vital roles this decade, when one in five people retire and industry employers hire skilled replacements.

Our changing demographic also represents changes in needs allocation for services as an ageing population places a greater demand on the healthcare system but also have more free time, more disposable income, and spend money differently than younger demographics. For example, retirees tend to shop locally and eat out at restaurants more often than young people. Modern technology is another factor changing our country's needs and rewriting the labour market.

Not every job a retiring worker leaves will need to be filled; however, there are vital sectors where skilled immigrant workers will play an invaluable role to Canadian employers with senior positions to fill. Since one in five new and older working immigrants are overqualified for their jobs but are held back by a need for Canadian work experience and credentials, immigrants are well suited to alleviate Canada's chronic labour and skills gaps. Studies and data expressed later in the article back concerns that Canada currently has a severe, labour and skills shortage to harness. To identify skills shortages, industry experts look for areas where employers cannot find a candidate with appropriate skills for a given position, despite offering competitive salaries and a healthy work environment.

For example, more trained nurses are needed to fill B.C. hospital's hiring needs, but too few graduate each year or apply to work in hospitals. Skilled employees are vital to our economy because having the appropriate number of staff allows companies to fill orders efficiently, provide vital services efficiently, and expand their businesses. Conversely, skills and labour shortages hold companies back. That’s where the approximately 349,000 work permits issued to internationals arriving in Canada each year help these companies sustain quality work and care to our communities where local talent is unavailable.

A 2022 Statistics Canada study of employers across industries found that 56.1% of businesses reported having employees with insufficient skills to perform their duties well, and 44.5% found finding a candidate with the appropriate skills difficult. The most urgently needed skills requested by employers were technical, practical, and job specific. Problem-solving, customer service and critical thinking also ranked high on the list of skills gaps. Employers went further, expressing concerns about teamwork and oral and written communication abilities among a quarter of their employees. This skill gap poses a tremendous opportunity for growing the potential of skilled immigrants. For immigrants and those who collaborate with immigrant populations, knowing which industries experience skill gaps may improve insight into opportunities where some training will catapult immigrants into skilled jobs. Briefly, here is how the industry statistic unfolds. 78.8% of Accommodation and food services industry persons polled reported that the people they hire need the required skills.

Also, 69.0% of employees in the utility sector lacked the necessary skills, 67.8% in retail trade, 67.3% in manufacturing, 64.8% in educational services workers, 64.4% in wholesale trade and 63.6 % in construction. Across Canada, 37.7% of Albertans have difficulty hiring employees with the appropriate credentials and provinces like Quebec and the territories that experience greater difficulty in attracting and retaining skilled workers - about half of all employers, 55.6% and 50.7%, respectively, report that it is hard to find appropriately skilled workers.

Canada's skills predicament appears worse when age demographics are added to the analysis. Employers already struggling to fill skilled roles will find hiring replacements for a retiring generation even more difficult, thus making the positions served by skilled immigrants with the needed credentials and skills vital. New immigrants and candidates to Canada can do a lot to build and showcase their skills to make them relevant to the Canadian labour market by earning well-placed courses, certificates, or degrees from Canadian institutions to prepare themselves to fill this gap. Critical areas of need are currently in health care, technology, and science; however, skills shortages are widespread, affecting all sectors. The following chart outlines typical careers and the education required from the National Occupation Classification (NOC) list of occupations.





Education Requirements


Landscaping and grounds maintenance labourers,
Delivery service drivers and door-to-door distributors



Short work demonstration, no formal education



Home child-care, Retail salespersons and visual merchandisers



A high school diploma, on-the-job training


Bakers, Dental assistants, and dental laboratory assistants



A college diploma, apprenticeship training, or on-the-job training



Computer network and web technicians, medical laboratory technologists


A college diploma, apprenticeship training, supervisory occupations



Financial advisors, Software engineers



University Degree


Advertising, marketing, and public relations managers



University Degree or College Diploma


Financial managers & Management occupations



Four-year degree, certification

Canadian work experience opportunities are already in place to integrate newcomers into the Canadian workplace via The Federal Internship for Newcomers (FIN) Program, which offers internship programs in administration, project support and management, policy and research, and computer science. At the same time, those determining their skills or curious to explore career options can access the quizzes prepared by the Canadian Job Bank. The three quizzes help candidates find their path to a satisfying career, explore aptitude and make career suggestions to candidates after quizzing applicants in three areas: work activities, abilities, and interests. With the right career path and training, new immigrants can prepare to fill critical roles supporting the Canadian economy - alleviating skills shortages now and for years to come.

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