Dear Working Wise:
I manage a transportation company and I’ve noticed that it’s getting harder to find drivers and heavy duty mechanics again. I hear a lot of world-wide financial doom and gloom stories, but Alberta’s economy seems to be doing well. What does the future hold? Is it going to get easier to find staff or harder? Signed, Concerned
You are right, Alberta is insulated, somewhat, from the ongoing financial worries plaguing the rest of the world today thanks in part to our energy sector.
I use the term somewhat, because as we learned in 2009 when oil plummeted from $140 to just $40 per barrel, we are not completely immune.
It’s difficult to say for sure what the future holds, but the Government of Alberta released a report last week that you might find helpful.
The Occupational Demand and Supply Outlook 2011-2021 forecasts the addition of 606,000 new jobs in Alberta and labour force growth of 492,000 workers—leaving a shortage of around 114,000 workers within the decade.
And these new job opportunities will not be limited to entry level, lower-paying, or part-time positions either. Sectors such as finance, health care, trades, sciences, public sector jobs and many others will all require more people in the future.
Shortages and surpluses of workers vary by occupation, but the average gap between the demand for workers and the supply is around four per cent.
The outlook forecasts a demand for 15,000 Heavy Duty Mechanics in Alberta by 2021 and a shortage of around 775, leaving a gap of around five per cent—just above average.
The 10-year outlook is similar for Truck Drivers with demand for 51,098 drivers and a shortage of 2,635 drivers.
The Alberta Government produces the 10-year outlook to focus training dollars in strategic areas to minimize labour and skills shortages.
Employers and managers may find The Occupational Demand and Supply Outlook 2011-2021 helpful in planning their staff attraction and retention strategies.
Students and young Albertans may also find the outlook helpful while they are researching potential careers.
The Occupational Demand and Supply Outlook 2011-2021 is available at http://employment.alberta.ca.
Information on careers and career planning is available on the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) web site at http://alis.alberta.ca.
Any employers looking for help attracting and retaining staff, can:
· Visit http://employment.alberta.ca/etoolkit or
· Call your nearest Alberta Works Centre and ask to a Business & Industry Liaison Specialist. You can find the office nearest you at http://employment.alberta.ca/offices.
Do you have a work-related question? Send your questions to Working Wise, at email@example.com. Charles Strachey is a regional manager with Alberta Human Services. This column is provided for general information.