A New Route for Employers to Hiring and Workforce Development

A New Route for Employers to Hiring and Workforce Development

A New Route for Employers to Hiring and Workforce Development

The Issues

Over the last few years, Canadian employers have continued to experience a rapidly evolving labour market and economy in which to operate their businesses. Micro- and Small-Businesses are particularly feeling the impact of these changes as their size frequently challenges labour stability, work opportunity responsiveness, and technology adoption.

The Situation

Statistics Canada recently signalled job vacancies are at an all-time high as of March 2022, although labour market participation grew by .7%. Across the country, employers are actively trying to fill over 1,000,000 positions, a note here being actively seeking on a job board. In the micro-and small-business sectors, the capacity of these companies to even post for job vacancies is restricted by the need to direct as much labour to current work pressures as possible. This allocation or lack of HR resources means the Statistics Canada number may not show the full extent of job vacancies. Notably, the record level of job vacancies still being reported in sectors such as construction reached an astonishing 81,000+ openings in March.

Job vacancies increase since October 2020

Job Vacancy and Wage Survey (5217).

Although the labour market is tightening, particularly in the core-age group of 25 – 54-year-olds, there are still 1.2 unemployed people for each job vacancy. Within this group are those who need training or reskilling but cannot get to a traditional post-secondary program or are having difficulty connecting with employers through screening processes.

 To account at least for the screening and recruitment process, the Canadian HR Report recently signalled employers are starting to overlook degree or certification requirements. In the survey of 1000 employers, four out of five would consider hiring without the credential they were looking for and opt for on-the-job training. The report goes so far as to indicate that 3 in 4 employers are willing to overlook experience in favour of essential employability skills such as interpersonal skills and attitudes (Wilson, 2022). Of surprise in the article is a comment that the workforce is eager to learn, with 70% of Canadians willing to advocate post-pandemic for their training and skills development needs.

Ontario 360 (2022) reported that “there is a lack of services and supports for individuals facing labour market disruption,” and the skills development ecosystem is not ready. This risk is most concerning for those who already have employment but could face displacement due to rapidly changing job requirements where new or retraining is required. The current funding in Ontario allocates approximately 10.99 billion dollars to postsecondary and apprenticeship programs and only $1.73 billion to adult skills training and employment support where that 25+ core working-age group fits.

A New and Innovative Approach to Skills Development and Recruitment

Guild House Tech is working with relentless energy and belief in alignment with the Future Skills Council report to Employment and Social Development Canada, “Canada – A Learning Nation: A skilled, Agile Workforce Ready to Shape the Future.” The Institute has strategically aligned its Ends Policy to support employer contextualized training provided led competency-based learning to meet the report’s vision of “Canada showcasing breakout leadership in which we seize emerging opportunities by fostering inclusivity to drive innovation (Future Skills Council, 2020, p. 4).” While the report highlights five priority areas, it is Priority 4 (Promote, enable, and validate skills development) and training in all their diverse forms that stands to be the anchoring point for addressing the current unprecedented job vacancies in addition to the ever-present labour market disruption.

Guild House Technical has spent 20 months preparing to bring higher education apprenticeship to Canadian employers and job seekers to support employers, particularly those who are micro-and small businesses. This work has been done in support of recommendation 4.1 of the Future Skills Council report to develop and expand access to nimble training models that respond to individual and employer needs. The framework, known at Guild House Tech as Wanderpässe, is a triad approach that combines the employer, employee (apprentice), and training provider (GHT) into one end-to-end digital solution. The Institute seeks to elevate the importance of vocational training contextualized by the employer and supported with training aligned to a competency-based standard in full support of recommendation 4.4 of the report: Expand experiential learning and on-the-job training, primarily to support the upskilling and reskilling of Canadian workers. The employer and the training team have a real-time 360o view of the employee/apprentice competency development to guide work tasks and training priorities that align with the employer’s business cycle.

Notes for Employers and Job Seekers

Employers: You can choose to leverage a competency-based training program as a recruitment tool and as a robust workforce development tool for employees already in your company. You do not need to add additional resources to benefit from vocational pathway mapping in and through your organization. You no longer need to wait for a newly minted graduate to join your organization.

Guild House Tech will work with you to contextualize a vocational standard or even build a prototype that aligns with the National Occupation Classification (NOC) system. We can even assist you in vocational assessments to help develop a career path for those who are internationally trained or are working on work visas.

Job Seekers: You can now choose to learn and work without fear of your credential not opening the door to the labour market or losing critical income you and your family may depend on. Projects to demonstrate competency come from your job and the necessary work, not from a textbook or case study. Work with your skill lab professors and Training Standard Led to customize your training units to follow the business cycles of your employer.

Guild House Tech will work with you to connect you to an employer who has offered an apprenticeship at their company. We will support you with vocational assessments, help you prepare for your apprenticeship interviews, and be with you to your final end-point evaluation for certification.


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