Work-Life balance survey launched

Work-Life balance survey launched

A new Workforce Planning Board survey is asking local residents about challenges they face achieving a healthy work-life balance.

The Navigating Work-Life Balance in Grand Erie survey is aimed at adults in Brantford, Six Nations, New Credit, and the counties of Brant, Haldimand and Norfolk.

Executive Director Danette Dalton said the pandemic has drawn additional attention to the subject of work-life balance, especially with more people working from home and students of all ages taking online classes.

“It can be tricky balancing work life and home life at any time, especially with so many demands on our time,” Dalton said. “We want to hear directly from individuals so we can better understand what factors are causing stress and imbalance in the lives of workers.”

Dalton said work-life balance can be impacted by many things: money, job insecurity, shift work, family responsibilities, physical and mental health, and more.

The survey will provide information that could be used by individuals to make changes in their lives, or to identify supports workers may need from employers or community organizations, she said.

“Employees, employers, families and the community all benefit by supporting healthy work-life balance. There’s a large return on investment for everyone.”

The Workforce Planning Board hopes to have at least 500 surveys completed over the next few months. All information collected is confidential.

People can take the survey by clicking on the following link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/WLB-web

People who complete the survey are eligible for weekly prizes that promote a healthy lifestyle. Prizes include a Fitbit, child and youth bikes, and gift cards for community businesses.

The Workforce Planning Board thanks community partners for their support.

April 2021 employment showed modest gains

April 2021 employment showed modest gains

April 2021 employment numbers for Brantford showed modest job gains, even as new lockdowns sidelined workers across Canada.

The city’s jobless rate fell to 6.4% in April, down from 7.2% in March, according to the latest seasonally adjusted estimates from Statistics Canada released Friday. Local employment reached the highest level since the pandemic’s first wave a year ago in April 2020, when the jobless rate was 8.9%.

April 2021 employment numbers show Brantford fared better than many places in Canada.

Employment fell by about 207,000 jobs across Canada as COVID-19 restrictions were tightened in several provinces, pushing up the national monthly jobless rate to 8.1%. Ontario’s monthly unemployment rate climbed to 9%, due to an estimated 153,000 fewer residents working.

Ontario started its current stay-at-home order on April 8, just prior to Statistics Canada conducting its labour force survey April 11 to 17.

“It’s great to see the Brantford area’s unemployment rate at a one-year low,” said Danette Dalton, executive director of the Workforce Planning Board. “We hope that trend continues, but we may continue to see instability in the job market, especially if the pandemic’s third wave isn’t brought under control.”

Dalton said it is important to remember that “there are still more than 5,000 local residents who don’t have jobs, which means thousands of families are struggling and need our community’s support.”

In Brantford, April 2021 employment numbers show that more women across all age groups worked full-time, while full-time work fell among men, with young workers ages 15 to 24 the hardest hit. Part-time employment grew for men.

There were about 1,200 new job listings in April for the city of Brantford on the Grand Erie Jobs job board. Another 1,000 new jobs were listed for Brant, Norfolk, Six Nations and Haldimand. A large majority of job postings are for full-time permanent positions.

While material handler remains the No. 1 job posting locally, employers are looking to fill a wide variety of positions. Businesses are still recruiting for sales, customer service and restaurant jobs, even with the curtailing of these types of operations. Many area farms are also hiring.

Visit Statistics Canada to read its News Release about April 2021’s job market in Canada and Ontario.

Canadian Census Provides Important Data

Canadian Census Provides Important Data

Most Canadians will have received their 2021 Census by now.

The census provides a count of Canada’s population – it was 35,151,728 when the last one was held in 2016 – but it does much more. Information collected in the census paints an up-to-date picture of Canadian society and how it has changed or is changing.

Canadians are being asked to complete the census online by May 11, Census Day. Census employees will follow up with people who don’t complete the census. They’ll likely explain why doing the census is important and provide a friendly reminder that Canadians are required to complete it by law every 5 years.

Statistics Canada is also conducting its Census of Agriculture during May. This census is aimed at farm operators across the county. In 2016, there were 193,650 farm operations in Canada – a number that will be updated with the 2021 census.

Short and long form census

Most Canadians, about 75%, will receive a short version of the census which will require only a few minutes to complete for an entire household. Questions will mainly cover: name, gender, date of birth, age, marital status and spoken languages of all members in a household.

A smaller number of Canadians will receive the long form version of the census. It contains the same questions, plus other questions about people’s birthplace, citizenship, cultural heritage, Indigenous status and religion. Other sections focus on education, mobility, housing, health issues and employment.

Questions that are related to the workforce include employment status, number of hours worked, occupation, self-employment, work location and commuting habits.

The Workforce Planning Board of Grand Erie uses this census data to help with workforce planning in Brantford, Six Nations, New Credit, and the counties of Brant, Haldimand and Norfolk.

Watch Statistics Canada’s video: How do I complete the questionnaire? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gc4zJBrpvm0

Why doing the census is important

Questions on who lives in a household helps the government understand family size and composition, including the number of children and seniors. This helps the government plan programs such as Old Age Security and the Canada Child Benefit.

In line, this information is used by provincial and local governments to help plan services for communities, including new schools, seniors’ residences and day cares.

Watch Statistics Canada’s video: Why the census is important https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EOOy8_SpvHk

Census demographic data can also help small businesses understand their target market in their particular area.

Here’s more info from Statistics Canada on how businesses can use census data: https://www12.statcan.gc.ca/census-recensement/smallbusiness-petitesentreprises/index-eng.htm

Workforce Planning Board of Grand Erie – Our Census Map Tool

Our Grand Erie Jobs website has a free online Census Map Tool anyone can use to look up census information from the 2016 census. https://workforceplanningboard.org/census-tool/

There’s information on population, families, language, aboriginal peoples, citizenship, immigration, housing, education and more. Workforce related data includes size of the workforce, number of Canadians who work in each occupation and each industry, where people work, language of work, place of work and commuting habits.

For example, the 2016 census told us that 1,920 Haldimand County residents worked in their homes, while 65 residents worked outside Canada. There are also numbers for how many residents travel outside Haldimand to work and how many come to the county to work. There’s similar data for all Grand Erie communities.

If the information appears dated on the Census Map Tool, since it is from 2016, that just reinforces the importance of completing the 2021 census, so we have more up-to-date data.

Youth Work NOW! Employment Webinar

Youth Work NOW! Employment Webinar

Youth Work NOW! – an online webinar taking place Thursday, April 29th at 11Am will help our local youth search for a summer job or their first job. The session will feature short presentations by about a dozen employment related services from our region.

The COVID-19 Pandemic has added unique challenges for youth and their ability to find employment. Public health restrictions, layoffs for the least experienced employees, closures and the struggle of some industries are some factors that have been identified as preventing youth from gaining employment.

A recent regional study revealed about half of youth surveyed stated they need help looking for jobs and over half of youth expressed they lack information about employment programming and job searching tools

To assist our region’s youth the Workforce Planning Board of Grand Erie has organized Youth Work NOW! to inform local youth ages 15-24 about current resources, programs and services offered across our region to help them find a summer job; for graduating students or for youth not in school – their first full time job and to also help those interested in learning how they can start their own business.

Educational institutions and area organization such as St. Leonard’s Community Services, Brantford-Brant Business Resource Centre, CareerLink and about half a dozen other regional employment service providers will be participating in the webinar to talk about ways they help youth gain employment and resources will be compiled in a catalogue made available publicly on our website.

Youth and their families are invited to join the webinar which will include a Q&A portion and gain access to valuable programs and supports that can assist youth in finding temporary or full-time employment.

For those not available to attend the event on April 29, the webinar is recorded and available for viewing here: https://youtu.be/vx0ePHZLi4g

Partners and Resources:

Grand Erie District School Board: Home :: Grand Erie District School Board

CareerLink: About :: Career Link

St. Leonard’s Community Services Wrap Program: Youth Employment Skills Strategy – Work Readiness and Advancement Program (WRAP) | St. Leonard’s (st-leonards.com)

Brant Skills Centre: Brant Skills Centre

G.R.E.A.T: The Student Office – GREAT (greatsn.com)

Fanshawe Community Career and Employment Services: Community Career and Employment Services (Simcoe) | Fanshawe College

City School by Mohawk: City School by Mohawk | Mohawk College

Brantford Business Resource Centre: Business Resource Centre – City of Brantford – Economic Development (advantagebrantford.ca)

First Work: First Work – Ontario’s Youth Employment Network

First Work Aspire Initiative: Home – Youth Aspire

Wilfrid Laurier University LaunchPad: LaunchPad | Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation | Students – Wilfrid Laurier University (wlu.ca)

Wilfrid Laurier University: Career and Employment Support | Students – Wilfrid Laurier University (wlu.ca)

Conestoga College: https://studentsuccess.conestogac.on.ca/myCareer

Six Nations Polytechnic: Careers | Six Nations Polytechnic (snpolytechnic.com)CareerLink: Job Seeker :: Career Link

Contact North: Welcome to contactnorth.ca | Contact North | contactnorth.ca

Canadian Mental Health Association Brant Haldimand NorfolkCMHA Brant Haldimand Norfolk – Mental Health for All  

Grand Erie Jobs: https://workforceplanningboard.org/find-jobs/

March 2021 job numbers show dip in unemployment

March 2021 job numbers show dip in unemployment

March 2021 job numbers show that Brantford’s jobless rate dipped after the previous month’s COVID-19 stay-at-home orders were lifted.

The local unemployment rate fell to 7.2% in March, from 7.6% in February, according to seasonally adjusted estimates from the Statistics Canada survey conducted mid-month. Norfolk’s monthly unemployment rate was 9.2% last month, down from 11% during the same month in 2020.

Nationally, Canada gained 303,000 employees, bringing the unemployment rate down 0.7 percentage points to 7.5%. In Ontario, the unemployment rate decreased to 7.5%, from 9.2% the previous month, marking the lowest rate for the province since March 2020.

Statistics Canada’s March survey of Brantford area household was conducted prior to Ontario’s latest stay-at-home order. Job numbers are expected to shift because of that order, said Danette Dalton, executive of the Workforce Planning Board of Grand Erie.

“We are anticipating that the most recent stay-at-home order will have impacts on local employment,” Dalton said. “We’re committed to monitoring local labour market trends closely, and keeping the Grand Erie community informed and educated about local workforce needs and supports.”

Locally, March 2021 job numbers show that the unemployment rate is up 1.7% since March 2020, when the impact of COVID-19 was first felt in Brantford. While employment did rise for both males and females last month, youth (aged 15-24) employment continued its downward trend.

Young women have been particularly affected by pandemic-related labour market shifts, with 2,400 fewer employed since March 2020. Many of these individuals were previously working part-time in the manufacturing, construction and healthcare industries.

More than 1,000 employees joined the Brantford area workforce between February and March, with much of this growth concentrated in the health care and social assistance sector. Meanwhile, employment in Brantford’s wholesale and retail trade and education sectors declined for the third consecutive month.

To assist youth in navigating the world of work, the Workforce Planning Board, in collaboration with organizations from across the region, is hosting a webinar – Youth Work NOW! – on April 29th at 11 a.m. The event will showcase local resources to help youth aged 15-24 find a summer job, their first full-time job or start their own business! To register: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YWN

Visit Statistics Canada to read its News Release about January 2021’s job market in Canada and Ontario.

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