Employer Survey Confirms North Shore Skill Shortages

July 6, 2015

NORTH VANCOUVER, July 6, 2015 – A recent survey of 115 North Shore-based employers found almost half reporting current skills shortages on the North Shore.

The situation is most severe in the construction industry, with 50% of construction industry employers reporting a severe shortage. Moderate or severe shortages were reported by 44% in retail trade, 20% in healthcare/social assistance, 14% in professional, scientific and technical services, and 13% in education.

The survey was conducted by the North Shore Immigrant Inclusion Partnership, a coalition of community organizations and institutions focused on improving the settlement outcomes of new immigrants on the North Shore.

“More than 2,000 immigrants choose the North Shore as their home each year,” says Elizabeth Jones, Executive Director of the North Shore Multicultural Society and co-chair of the partnership. “Many of these immigrants are highly educated, experienced professionals but they struggle to find employment.”

The survey found that very few employers seek help from government-funded employment services (11%) or immigrant serving agencies (9%) in finding workers. By far, the most common recruitment technique identified was a referral from colleagues, employees or friends at 78%.

“The survey highlights a real opportunity to improve connections between local businesses and social service employment agencies on the North Shore,” says Louise Ranger, CEO of the North Vancouver Chamber of Commerce and a member of the partnership.

On the North Shore, comprehensive provincial employment services are offered at the YWCA WorkBC North Shore Employment Service Centre and the WorkBC North Shore Multicultural Society Immigrant Satellite Office. “New immigrants often lack professional networks so many rely on these employment services to connect them with jobs” says Jones. “We encourage employers facing skills shortages to reach out and let us help them.”

The survey findings support the BC government’s 2022 Labour Market Outlook, which projects more than one million job openings across BC over the next decade. With BC’s aging workforce and low birth rate, it is estimated that one-third of these jobs will be filled by migrants, including workers from other parts of Canada and new immigrants.

The North Shore Immigrant Inclusion Partnership (NSIIP) was established in 2007 to find local, collaborative solutions to improve immigrant settlement and integration within the communities of the North Shore. NSIIP is currently conducting research and consultation to inform the development of a Local Immigration Strategic Plan for the North Shore.

For further information, contact:
Alison Dudley, NSIIP Partner Liaison and Support
Work: 604 973 0452; Cell: 604-341-6337; alisond@nsms.ca


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