SECTOR-SPECIFIC TOOLS AND RESOURCES
In order to succeed in the rapidly changing economic environment, it is critical for Canadian businesses to be prepared to address both current and anticipated labour market challenges.
Sector councils are industry-led partnership organizations that address skills development issues and implement solutions in key sectors of the economy. Sector councils work to create collaboration between various industry players, including employers, workers, educators, professional associations, and government, to develop and apply solutions to workforce issues affecting their industries, with the objective of helping these industries thrive.
In light of demographic and economic trends affecting the labour force, sector councils have recognized the importance of integrating internationally trained individuals into the workforce, and have named this issue a priority.
According to RBC, in the next 20 years, Canada will need at least 2.75 million more labour force participants, over and above Statistics Canada’s long-term population projection, to sustain the workforce.
Because of the Canada’s high rate of immigration and great number of immigrants living within its borders, the country has a special opportunity to address projected labour shortages by recognizing the skills that immigrant workers can offer.
Yet, approximately 30% of highly skilled immigrants to Canada subsequently leave as a result of difficulty integrating socially and economically. Of great concern is the fact that patterns of integration appear to be getting worse.
Significant under-utilization of the skills and experiences of new immigrants to Canada is a particular concern to communities that have high proportions of recent immigrants.
Moving forward, immigration will account for all net labour force growth in Canada.
Recognizing credentials from abroad will play a large role in Canada’s ability to produce the number of skilled labour force participants that it will require in the coming years. This will involve recognizing the skills and maximizing the potential of internationally educated and trained individuals.
Failure to recognize the skills, education, and experiences that immigrants bring from abroad will have significant impact on Canada's future moving forward, in terms of economic development and quality of life.
Many sector councils have developed industry specific tools and resources to assist small and medium-sized businesses with their human resource and workforce management needs, including strategies to help employers facilitate the integration of internationally trained workers. Some of the key strategies are outlined below.
Sector councils have contributed to the creation of National Occupational Standards (NOS). NOS identify skills and knowledge that individuals must have in order to work competently in various occupations. NOS have been developed for numerous professions within the industry sectors listed below.
For employers, these standards can be used to inform a competency approach to workforce management. Employers can create competency-based job profiles, conduct more objective evaluations of potential and current employees’ skills, identify gaps in workforce skills in order to recognize training needs, and increase the chances they will hire and retain the best suited employees for their organizations. Competency-based assessment can also play an important role in integrating internationally trained professionals into the workplace and can assist employers with understanding foreign education and work experience. Click here [link to competency assessment] to learn more about competency-based assessment.
National Occupational Standards can benefit individual companies as well as larger industries by helping to generate a more highly skilled workforce, by giving individual companies competitive advantage, and by helping Canada contend in international markets.
The Career Focus Program provides wage subsidies to offset costs of hiring employees new to certain industries, specifically those who have recently graduated from post-secondary education.
Below is a list of sector councils. Click on the sector(s) most relevant to your business to find workforce management solutions tailored to the unique needs of your industry. If you are looking for information on a sector council not represented in this list, click here.
The Apparel Human Resources Council website:
- offers a new e-tool (recently acquired by the Council)
- allows employers to search profiles of apparel industry professionals in Canada
- allows employers to access business and HR tools, and find information
- provides resources regarding education, training and mentoring
Registration for this toolkit is free.
The BioTalent Canada website offers tools and resources for biotechnology employers, including:
- BioTalent HR Toolkit
- PetriDish, a free online employment bank where biotechnology employers have the opportunity to post job openings and review resumes
- Bio-economy Skills Profiles
- Bio-economy Skills At-a-Glance
- The Bioskills Recognition Program, which enables internationally educated professionals (IEPs) and other workers new to the biotechnology industry to have their skills recognized and be linked with employers in an efficient and reliable way
The website also provides information on wage subsidies, professional training and development and transferring traditional manufacturing skills to biomanufacturing.
The website also offers a skills assessment tool, called CARSability, as well as links to courses that train for particular competencies. The site also offers labour market information specific to employment in the automotive repair and service industry.
- Job board
- Career video gallery
- Career path profiles
- Real life success stories
- Retail training directory
- Workplace diversity directory
The website also offers a number of other resources for recruitment and retention, such as an HR Toolkit for Independent Grocers, a Food Retail/Wholesale Retention Toolkit, CCGD Foodservice Distributors Retention Toolkit, and an Employee Retention Best Practices Guide.
The Canadian Plastics Sector Council website offers links to a number of resources, including:
- BizSolution, an online resource offering workforce solutions for the plastics industry, including tools, templates, how-to guides and access to a Virtual HR Department
- National Occupational Standards (NOS) Web-based Toolkit: can be used by employers to create job profiles, evaluate potential and current employees, and identify gaps in gaps in workforce skills in order to identify training needs. The CPSC has developed 27 bilingual standards for nine major processes in the plastics industry
- Helpful Links for Employers
The Canadian Printing Industries Sector Council website provides:
- HR Toolkit to assist small- and medium-sized Canadian printing shops with their HR needs, including informational resources and adaptable templates
- Job profiles and skills standards available for key occupations within the printing industry
- National skill standards for the Print Ready program, which aims to create a skilled workforce to help the industry thrive
- Skills at Work, another component of the Print Ready program, provides tools and resources to help employers implement the national skill standards in the workplace. The job profiles and skills standards can also be used to conduct competency assessments of potential or current employees
- Career Focus, provides wage subsidies to offset costs of hiring employees new to the industry
The Canadian Steel Trade and Employment Congress (CSTEC) website provides a number of specific resources pertaining to human resources within the steel sector:
- Apprenticeship services are offered through Apprenticeship Coordinators in various locations throughout Canada. Over the last few years, CSTEC has worked with employers, unions, education and training institutions and governments to develop innovative partnership approaches to apprenticeships that maximize the benefits of costs and risks.
- Essential skills services are offered. Essential skills are defined as those that provide the foundation for learning all other skills and enable people to evolve with their jobs and adapt to workplace and life change. These skills were identified through the federal government sponsored Essential Skills Project.
For more than a decade, CSTEC has worked with employers, unions, education and training institutions and governments to develop a wide range of training courses to meet to meet skills upgrading challenges. The training courses address four key areas of skills development: Essential skills development, Foundation skills development, General Technical skills development and training courses.
The Canadian Supply Chain Sector Council website offers a number of resources, including:
- Virtual HR department
- Recruitment and Retention Toolkit
- National Accreditation Program
- National Occupational Standards to be used by employers to create job profiles, evaluate potential and current employees, and identify gaps in gaps in workforce skills in order to identify training needs. Click here to learn about potential ways to use the National Occupational standards in the workplace
- Career Focus provides wage subsidies for the supply chain sector
The Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council website offers the following:
- Employer tools and resources for the tourism industry, including business planning tools, workforce management resources, information on tourism sector wage compensation and an employee turnover cost calculator
- Information on credential recognition and newcomer integration
- National Occupational Standards for 48 occupations in the tourism industry
The Canadian Trucking Human Resources Council (CTHRC) website provides tools for employers to better manage their workforce, teaching resources, information to help advance people’s careers in the industry, industry research reports, and information about working in trucking and working in Canada. It also offers the following:
- Human resources tools and programs, focusing on the guidance, best practices, and training tools that meet real world needs
- Teaching resource materials that can enhance training
In an unregulated industry such as trucking, it is all too easy for a training program to promise a “certificate” for graduates. But what does that certificate really mean? Does it meet national standards, include an in-depth assessment, or represent the skills that employers want? Those who earn certification through the CTHRC are able to prove that they meet the needs identified in the National Occupation Standards. CTHRC also provides a range of self-study programs for a variety of roles.
The Council for Automotive Human Resources (CAHR) website provides a range of tools and resources for employers, such as:
- Career Roadmap Tool, which is an online resource for workers to assess skill levels, identify training options and plan new career paths. By using this tool, employers will also be able to contribute to workplace skills development, identify transferable skills, and contribute to targeted recruitment and retention programs
- National functional standards
- Information about apprenticeships
- Information about sector study
- Information about skills tune-up/training
Working in partnership with dedicated stakeholders from industry, business, government, labour and education, the Electricity Sector Council has designed a number of programs and projects to ensure that Canada maintains a strong, vibrant and safe electricity and renewable energy workforce now and in the future.
The Electricity Sector Council website provides a range of information, such as a Resource Centre, which provides educational resources, the latest industry trends, statistics, reports, and links.
Engineers Canada is the national organization of the 12 provincial and territorial associations that regulate the profession of engineering in Canada and license the country’s more than 234,000 members of the engineering profession. The website provides information about issues such as accreditation, qualifications, and labour market information.
The Forest Products Sector Council (FSPC) creates and markets a wide range of resources designed to build consensus and address the substantive human resources development and transition issues facing the forest products industry, its employees and employers. FPSC is a working partnership between forest products industry employers, unions, Aboriginal peoples, and education and training institutions.
The Forum for International Trade Training (FITT) equips individuals and businesses with the practical skills they need to succeed in today’s competitive global marketplace.
A non-profit organization established by industry and government, FITT develops international business programs, sets competency standards, and designs the certification and accreditation programs for the Certified International Trade Professional (CITP) designation.
The Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) website provides a number of important resources, such as:
- Standards (i.e. ICT Competency Profiles, Essential Skills, I-ADVANCE)
- Labour Market Intelligence (i.e. Forecasting, Trends, etc.)
- Career Pathways (Career Focus, Focus on IT, Professional Development)
- Immigration Initiatives (i.e. Mentorship, Tools and Resources)
- Human Resources Tools
The Motor Carrier Passenger Council of Canada website provides a number of important resources that link to information such as:
- Career Awareness
- Best Practices Resources
- National Certification
- Government & Industry Links
The Petroleum HR Council is a sector council supported by 11 oil and gas national and regional industry organization. This website offers the following resources, among others:
- Increasing the Talent Toolkit
- Occupational Profiles and Career Management Tools
- Career Awareness Program
- Petroleum Competency Program
- Petroleum Labour Market Information
- Essential Skills
The Textiles Human Resources Council is a non-profit, industry-led partnership that provides access to ground-breaking skills development programs and knowledge-sharing initiatives for industry. The website offers tools such as:
- Enhance Your Skills
- Skills and Learning Portal
- Information about Textile Industry Careers
- Knowledge Networks
The Wood Manufacturing Council (WMC) offers many programs that support the industry’s long-term growth and ensure that employees have the skills they need to succeed. These programs include:
- Rapid Internal Skills Enhancement (RISE)
- WMC Management Training
- National Occupational Standards
- Career Focus
- Essential Skills Awareness and Assessment
- Labour Market Information
- Wood Employee Readiness Curriculum
- Prior Learning Assessment & Recognition (PLAR)