So you have heard the EEDC HR head guy is doing something a little different now…………something to do with helping businesses with labour challenges? Well yes that’s right, but let’s start this story with some context.
In November 2013 Stats Canada reported Edmonton gained 3000 new jobs for the month. Over the past year, the Edmonton region had gained over 18,000 new full-time jobs. Although local unemployment has risen nearly a full percentage point in 2013, Edmonton’s unemployment rate is still 2nd lowest in Canada.
At this moment, despite all the new job growth in 2013, almost 14,000 jobs are under active recruitment within a 50 km. radius of Edmonton. And these are just the jobs somebody is paying to advertise. If you include all the hiring conducted over Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media, the number very likely exceeds 15,000!
While many of these vacant positions are unskilled, a very great number are for ticketed tradesmen and professionals with specialized skills. Unfortunately there just is not enough skilled workers in all industries to satisfy the demand. Not enough of the right skills means lost $$$ for Edmonton businesses and ultimately lost economic growth for the region – hence somebody has to do something, right?
EEDC’s Labour Market Solutions Program targets business in need scarce specialized labour. While specifically targeted to smaller operations with limited in-house HR support, there are components of the program that can benefit almost all employers.
In a nutshell the program consists of three major components; sourcing candidates, attraction to Edmonton and settlement services.
Sourcing candidates includes recommendations to help find interested applicants in a tough local market, as well as nationally, and internationally. In addition to possible new ways of selling an employment opportunity, we can advise on search parameters and contacts in central and eastern Canada along with a host of information on Canadian immigration paths, including key contacts, time frames, costs, paperwork and other required logistical considerations.
Employers have told us selling talent on Edmonton can often be more difficult than actually finding the right candidate. We can help not only from an attractions and interesting places to see and things to do perspective, but also explore schools, neighborhoods, costs of living, transportation, accommodation options, personal safety and a host of other considerations important for individuals and families. Through various media we can help show that Edmonton is not only an exceptional city to work in, but also a great place to put down roots, raise a family, and call home.
As part of the Attraction to Edmonton component, we also offer a service called the Hosting Program. We can arrange as simple or complicated a hosting event as you feel appropriate. This might include meeting a candidate or new hire at the airport, touring the city’s major attractions, looking at neighborhoods and housing, exploring the Arts community, sporting venues………….whatever makes most sense to see and do, we can make it happen!.
Depending on where an individual is relocating from, greater or lesser settlement assistance may be required. An extreme may be workers from another country with weak English language skills and no western cultural awareness. We can assist with connections to newcomer help groups, ESL programs, getting a SIN, an AHC card, maybe an AB. Driver’s licence or public transit information. They may need help finding accommodation, learning the currency, getting a bank account…………the list of possible needs can be daunting and extensive. We have the information to help build a customized plan to address these issues and set stage for success through a smooth relocation transition. Once settled and functioning, we can help with connections to individual personal interests / hobby groups, the community league, and ethnic organizations to start the process of their chosen city beginning to feel like home.
Enough for now – you now know why the program exists, what it can do to assist your business needs, and where to come for help. I’ll be blogging as often as I can on various related topics. You can also follow me on Twitter @YEGdoug.
Thanks for your interest!