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Support for Eastern Ontario Employers Starts Here

Ontario East has been a region of choice for employers who want to succeed in all employment sectors, including food and beverage processing, advanced manufacturing, logistics and transportation, and supply chains. Eastern Ontario employers must always be ready to pivot and grow in order to keep up with the changing landscape of workforce trends. Employers, read on to learn about the trends affecting the workforce and the region, tools employers need, and who and how to recruit better. 

Eastern Ontario Employment Trends

In recent years, the workforce has been experiencing a labour shortage and employers are struggling to hire to maintain growth. The COVID-19 pandemic combined with an aging workforce in the region has led to employers adopting these 4 strategies to ease the shortage: 

  1. employers have increased remuneration and benefits.
  2. employers have adopted automation and new technologies where possible.
  3. employers have used a formal hiring process to streamline their recruitment process.
  4. employers have offered desirable compensation packages.

Some sectors of the workforce have been experiencing a labour shortage related to a trend known as the Great Resignation. While the Canadian Great Resignation has not been experienced on the same scale as in the US, here’s what employers need to know about the workforce trend:

  • Causes of the Great Resignation: workforce development professionals have identified 3 main causes of this trend: discontent, downsizing, and side hustles
  • Ways to Avoid the Great Resignation: employers should be flexible, reward and recognize employees’ hard work, and understand that transparent and consistent communication is the key to success

Here are some examples of eastern Ontario employers creating a thriving business despite the difficult labour shortages. 

  1. Kingston Aluminum Technology has created a product that lessens the impact on wildlife and their habitats. 
  2. Ross Video provides employees with educational assistance, training, and mentoring. 
  3. Wills Transfer recently reached Gold Status in Canada’s Best Managed Companies program. 
  4. KE Solutions pivoted during the COVID-19 pandemic to create medical safety devices. 
  5. Dairy Distillery also pivoted their business during the COVID-19 pandemic to produce hand sanitizer using naturally fermented alcohol.

Workforce Tools for Eastern Ontario Employers

Find the programs to help eastern Ontario employers fill their labour gaps and contend with workforce changes: 

1. LinkedIn Recruiter: Ontario East provides free recruitment help by partnering with LinkedIn’s Recruiter. Employers in the target sectors of advanced manufacturing, digital technology, and infrastructure and construction are able to post job openings on the platform to help them find talent, for free, through OE-TISP. 
2. Nesda Technologies Ltd. and Here2Work: A local business, Nesda Technologies Ltd., has designed an app, Here2Work, to promote talent retention and mobile workforce preparation. The Here2Work app helps employers find quality candidates, schedule workers over multiple work sites, allows companies to share labour, offers secure communication, and provides secure shift reminders for workers. Innovations like these are one of the reasons why eastern Ontario is the best place to find workers.
3. Employer One Survey: Since 2012, the Employer One Survey has been conducted in various locations throughout Ontario. Most recently, eastern Ontario hosted the survey in 2021. Here’s who benefits from completing this survey when the opportunity arises: 
  • Business communities and EDOs gain a better understanding of labour supply and demand in and outside of their region and how to support business growth
  • Educators will gain insights into the types of training and skills needed in the region
  • Employment services providers are better able to provide guidance 
  • Students, job seekers, and workers get access to survey results to help them make evidence-based training and career decisions
  • Governments are better equipped to make program and policy decisions

    4. SOPA: Employers get access to new international talent, without doing any paperwork through Settlement Online Pre-Arrival (SOPA), a database of job seekers who have been pre-approved for permanent residency. As mentioned, employers who use SOPA don’t have to fill out paperwork They also: get access to a database of people who are ready to work; get to choose from a pool of highly skilled, well trained job seekers; hire candidates who bring international experience and global perspectives; receive cross-cultural training; reduce recruitment and training costs; can effectively recruit, onboard, and retain a diverse workforce; develop a workforce that can help their business grow; receive language training for employees from SOPA; and, are assured that employees are meet specific business requirements.   

    5. Elevate Plus: manufacturing employers in the Bay of Quinte can partner with the Elevate Plus program through Loyalist College, to host work placements that can turn into permanent employment. By hiring through Elevate Plus, employers can: hire employees with skills that are relevant to their industry; get new team members who are already well trained; improve employee retention; reduce hiring costs; can provide input on training that works for their company.

    6. Magnet Student Work Placement Program: employers who join the Magnet Student Work Placement Program get up to $7500 when they hire Canadian post-secondary students for work-integrated learning experiences. The employment funding opportunity combines with Magnet’s job matching software to make it easier for employers to fill job vacancies with qualified students. 

Employers can also join these strategic workforce planning initiatives to attract workers to the region: 

  • Possible Made Here: a talent attraction portal provided by the City of Kingston which demonstrates to job seekers why they should work in eastern Ontario. 
  • Dual Career Support Program: finding jobs for workers’ spouses
  • Workplace Inclusion Charter: helping employers create inclusive workplaces
  • Community Secondment Program: expands existing local workforce programs through training programs 
  • Professional Internship for Newcomers: paid internships and workplace mentoring for newcomers to Canada who are unemployed or underemployed 
  • Kingston Connect: registered employers can see job seekers’ skills and contact job seekers directly, to increase their potential of making a successful skilled hire

Counter the Labour Shortage With These Job Seekers

Eastern Ontario employers looking to fill labour gaps can find potential hires in two demographics. Military veterans are members of the Hidden Workforce in eastern Ontario, since there are veterans who are ready and willing to work but are currently unemployed. If employers want to know how to hire military veterans, connect with them in these 3 ways: 

  1. Military Family Resource Centres: works with military families to connect them with a wide range of programs and services.
  2. Helmets to Hardhats: provides training and placements in the construction trades to former military members. 
  3. Elevate Plus Military: trains military families to connect them with manufacturing jobs in the Bay of Quinte. 

Co-op students are an accessible talent pool in eastern Ontario and these placements provide a significant source of labour for employers. Employers can learn how to find co-op students in the region at the following institutions: 

In Belleville, 

  • Loyalist College

In Cornwall, 

  • St. Lawrence College

In Kingston, 

  • Royal Military College
  • Queen’s University
  • St. Lawrence College, Kingston Campus

In Pembroke, 

  • Algonquin College, Pembroke Campus 

In Peterborough, 

  • Trent University
  • Fleming College
  • Seneca College, Peterborough Campus

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External links are provided as informational resources only and are not necessarily endorsed by Ontario East.



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