Many businesses experiencing shortage when it comes to skilled workers


In light of the pandemic, many small- and medium-sized businesses are facing challenges when it comes to finding skilled workers.

According to a recent report, many employers are facing challenges when it comes to hiring qualified employees.

Based on the findings, 40 per cent of small- and medium-sized employers identified skills shortages as a major competitive challenge--the problem varies by region, with Ontario among the provinces most affected.

Additionally, a report from the Ontario Chamber of Commerce found that 62 percent of small- and medium-sized businesses tried to recruit employees in the last six months--among those, 82 percent experienced at least one challenge.

The most common challenge, according to 60 percent of respondents, was finding someone who possesses the adequate qualifications.

“Further research and supports for small- and medium-sized businesses is vital and can’t be ignored in our discussions of economic recovery and growth,” Wendy Cukier, founder of the Diversity Institute, said in a news release.

“Small- and medium-sized businesses have been the hardest hit by the economic impact of COVID 19, especially smaller businesses and those in the services sectors. Most of the discussion regarding skills development is focused on large businesses despite SMEs being Canada’s biggest driver of job growth," she continued.

Considering the current economic landscape--nearly three quarters, 73.4 per cent, of job growth from 2013 to 2018 came from small- and medium-sized businesses--a lack of qualified employees presents significant uncertainty for job growth in Canada.

“We understand the hardships small businesses are enduring while COVID-19 abatement measures are in place. Many have pivoted, and will be integral to recovery and growth post-pandemic,” Ashley Challinor, vice president of Policy for the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and a co-author of the report, said in the same release.

Further, many small- and medium-sized businesses face additional challenges when it comes to digitization and adopting technologies. According to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, only 26 per cent of owners have been able to go digital.

Of those that have gone digital, 30 per cent have experienced an increase in sales.

“Small firms will need to leverage new talent and technologies to adapt to the virtual economy. As consumer behaviour changes, the ability of small businesses to ‘go digital’ will be a major determinant of Ontario’s long-term economic recovery," Challinor continued.

Your Comments