Labour training locally and nationally – the latest Food in Canada labour column by Jennefer Griffith
“In early November, Food Processing Skills Canada (FPSC) released Working Together — A Study of Generational Perspectives in Canada’s Labour Force,” states Jennefer Griffith, executive director at Food Processing Skills Canada, in her latest ‘Food in Canada’ labour column. “This research is part of our broader Labour Market Initiative and provides a fascinating look at the people working in Canada. What we have learned is that each generational group — from iGen to Boomers — bring their own perspectives, preferences and goals to the job. The analysis confirms some of the generational stereotypes we may have, but also sheds light on traits that are important to developing a workplace culture sought after by job seekers.”
Insights and Highlights
When asked about career goals, Gen Z ranked solving social/environmental challenges and doing work they are passionate about the highest. In contrast to the popular notion otherwise, 67 per cent of Canadians want to stay with the same employer, as long as they can. When it comes to career related challenges, Canadians ranked “being able to enjoy retirement” the highest.
Boomers ranked honesty as the most important quality of an immediate supervisor.
49 per cent think young people have unrealistic expectations and 47 per cent stereotype older workers as resistant to change.
The release of this report follows closely behind research we previously completed on industry perceptions by under-represented groups, specifically women, new Canadians, youth and Indigenous Peoples. Your Worker, What you Need to Know identifies these target groups as consistently more interested than members of the general public in looking for new employment opportunities, and applying to jobs in the meat and seafood processing sector.
Workforce challenges are a complex issue, but providing employers with current labour market analysis empowers companies to make positive change in workplace culture and HR best management practices. A diverse and inclusive workplace, with a commitment to continuous learning, has shown to attract more job seekers.
Although much of our program delivery at Food Processing Skills Canada is nationally and regionally-focused, we have found that locally-driven initiatives are also delivering big returns for employers. Our recent partnership with Mohawk College in Hamilton, Ont., is a good example of this.
We are sharing course content in food safety and essential skills with Mohawk College for their community development and continuous learning programs. Hamilton job seekers are trained and with the support of local employment groups, are connected to businesses in the area. The model is working so well in Hamilton, we are using labour market information to guide the development of similar partnerships in London and Toronto.
This locally-delivered training approach should work in areas across Canada with concentrations of food and beverage manufacturing businesses. Food Processing Skills Canada provides course content to local educators, and our regional representatives in Atlantic Canada, Quebec, Ontario and Alberta connect potential partners. It is a steady and deliberate strategy that is working to support employers, one company at a time.
Jennefer Griffith is the executive director at Food Processing Skills Canada.