With all the concerns around the manufacturing sector, the Vaughan Chamber of Commerce partnered with Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (CME) to hold a roundtable discussion with local industry leaders. The focus for the roundtable was to discuss key issues affecting business operations, and determining possible next steps.
Feedback from around the table was on the challenges of finding skilled workers and the impact that it’s having on their ability to scale their operations, and to expand and grow into new markets.
Addressing the skills mismatch in Ontario is an ongoing challenge for businesses across the province. The Government of Ontario’s commitment to modernize key aspects of the employment and training framework to better reflect labour market demands is a step in the right direction. However, the success of these initiatives will be entirely dependent on the extent to which government engages with employers.
Small businesses, in particular, are challenged throughout their efforts to navigate the existing employment and training landscape. This was repeatedly highlighted in the discussion with many of the manufacturers expressing frustration with the disconnect between industry needs and the educational system. Given that small business makes up two-thirds of private sector employment in Ontario, the Vaughan Chamber is going to strongly encourage government to design programs that are responsive to the capacity challenges of smaller operations.
Thank you to CME for partnering with us on this discussion and Burnco Manufacturing Inc. for hosting us in their facility.