CAEP labour force development specialist speaks at Chamber meeting

Employers attending a Rimbey Chamber of Commerce meeting last week were encouraged to tap into talent pools

Employers attending a Rimbey Chamber of Commerce meeting last week were encouraged to tap into talent pools which are now being underutilized when they are looking for new employees.

Kendall Currie, CAEP labour force development specialist who spoke at the chamber meeting held Monday at the Best Western Hotel said employers need to look at ways to attract and retain employees as jobs are plentiful in Alberta.

“There is plenty of work out there and those under represented segment of the population need to be encouraged to join the work force.”

Currie noted that the unemployment rate was at 2.8 per cent in July Red Deer which is reflective of the rest of Central Alberta. She said the situation is predicted to get worse and by 2023 Alberta could be short about 100,000 workers.

To help compensate for the shortage of workers, Currie suggested that employers think outside the box and tap into a wealth of available talent reserves thus creating, what has the potential to be, a win/win situation.

She said hiring First Nations people and new Canadians are options to consider. Dealing with different cultures should not be a drawback, but a challenge which can be overcome, she noted.

“We went to the moon, surely we can all learn to work together. There is a huge talent pool there,” she added.

Hiring youth workers is another great, but often underutilized, source of employment, she said.

“I have heard over and over again that youth have no work ethic, but as a kid’s first employee, you have a responsibility to teach them work ethics. Are you engaging with them where they are; in the schools and/or on social media (the youth) because they are not going to engage with you? I’m a big believer in getting out and talking to them.”

Hiring workers with disabilities is another choice, Currie said, explaining that these workers can help with some of the tasks that the other employees may not have time for.

Melvin Durand, who owns Parkland Automotive Repair Service, said small businesses cannot afford to implement that suggestion.

“I’m not saying it’s a bad idea. I’m just saying it works well in big business, but not so much in smaller businesses.”

However, another businessman in attendance suggested the idea could work if it was scaled down to meet the needs of a small business.

For more information about the labour market or questions as to how to tap into the resources available email Kendall Currie at kendall@caepalberta.com