Research

CTSEC, with the support of HSTAC, completed a detailed labour market study of the Hamilton-Niagara region. Highlights from this labour market information are below. You can download the full report HERE

The Hamilton-Niagara Region will experience severe recruitment challenges in the manufacturing industry, facing a recruitment gap of over 4,600 workers during the next 10 years. The reasons behind recruitment challenges are fourfold:

1) A large demographic challenge: the manufacturing workforce is older than the overall labour force of the region. As these workers retire in the next 10 years, the manufacturing industry is projected to have difficulty filling skilled trades and technical positions.

2) Competition from other industries: occupations such as sheet metal workers, electrical and electronics engineers, and industrial mechanics are also highly demanded in other industries such as construction, utilities, and professional services. It will be especially difficult to attract those workers due to faster growth rates experienced by competing industries and higher wages offered in some cases (e.g., utilities and mining).

3) Dependence on net migration: Hamilton-Niagara’s recruitment challenges are exacerbated by a low birth rate. The region will critically depend on net migration to fill many manufacturing positions during the next few years.

4) Occupational characteristics: some occupations are harder to fill across the manufacturing industry and the country due to low supply. The Hamilton-Niagara Region will be particularly challenged to find construction millwrights, computer networking technicians, and steamfitters/pipefitters, drafting technologists, and industrial electricians.

Potential solutions to these recruitment challenges include increasing training and apprenticeship in the workplace,
advocating for increases in government support for training, promoting manufacturing as a career option, and establishing
training consortia.