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How to Optimize the Manufacturing Participation Rate

In a report by the UN, researchers placed the number of worldwide unemployed youths (15-24) at around 75 million. In Canada, workers in this age range are more likely than older workers to be unemployed, and even though youth workers are generally faster at gaining new jobs than other age groups, they are also more likely to be employed for shorter periods.

Globally, 655 million fewer women are working than men. In Canada, though the participation rate for women in the workforce has more than tripled since 1953, the trend still fits with the global example. Also, while women are working more, they’re in less well-paying jobs on average. 

If every country achieved the same rate of improvement between gender employment gaps (when it comes to labour force participation, hours worked, and sector mix) as the best-performing country in their region, $12 trillion more annual GDP would be achieved globally by 2025.

The point is that there’s a lot of missed income out there for both youth workers and women and their potential employers.

Tapping into the massive labour pools of youth and women workers is good for any industry and for the economy in general. These are two groups who, traditionally, have been less interested in working for the manufacturing industry. Generally, this is because of the male-dominated work environment and, for youth, the perception of dull, unglamorous factory line jobs.

But there are plenty of workplaces that are trying to change this, and if you are serious about increasing the manufacturing participation rate in Ontario, it would be worthwhile spending time, energy and money on attracting underutilized groups to the industry. If you’re having trouble attracting new workers to your business, there are plenty of places to look; it might just take a little thinking outside the box.

Increasing the Manufacturing Participation Rate in Ontario


 Recently, in Belleville, the town decided to increase transit operations from 9 PM to midnight, greatly freeing up the employment opportunities for people in town without access to personal vehicles. This is an example of how policies in Ontario towns can open access to previously untapped employee pools.

Another recent example in Belleville is the “parent shift” started by GH Manufacturing. Any parent knows that it can be tricky to find a job that allows you to be home when kids get home from school or need rides - things like that. So GH Manufacturing created a shift specifically designed to give parents the freedom they need to take care of their kids and work a more convenient schedule.

This helps women workers, who are often still expected to be the primary caregiver to children; without shifts like these women might miss work opportunities. Refocusing the way we think about hiring practices can open up whole new groups of potential employees.

Innovations like these, but specifically focused on attracting youth and women workers to the industry, can help make up for hiring shortages in the industry. All we have to do is think outside the box.

Want Some More Inspiration for New Hiring Practices?

Learn more about how to inspire the next generation to look for a career in Ontario manufacturing by downloading this free e-book.

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