Quality of Work – New Local Survey

Quality of Work – New Local Survey

The Workforce Planning Board of Grand Erie has launched a new survey that is digging into how people perceive quality of work at their current or past workplaces.

Quality of work typically refers to a combination of things like a job’s income and benefits, job security, chance for promotion, opportunities to use skills, workplace culture and more.

For the last few years, our annual employer survey results have highlighted the growing obstacles that businesses face in finding and retaining suitable employees. Turnover triggered by quits, workplace culture and lack of work-life balance has been increasing and this has significant impacts on business operations.

With the added volatility of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to better understand the factors that influence quality of work, and to scope out the opportunities, challenges and barriers to supporting the Grand Erie labour market.

We will be examining the “quality of work” amongst workers within six industries in the Grand Erie area (healthcare and social assistance, retail trade, construction, manufacturing, accommodation and food services and agriculture.) The research will be carried out through a workforce survey that will measure the quality of work along 6 dimensions defined by Statistics Canada.

With this survey, we want to better understand what people value in a job, the workplace and their leaders. It is important to hear from workers, what attracts them to apply for a job and to stay in a job.

Many employers are experiencing labour shortages and they are competing for workers. Having a reputation of providing a good work culture and jobs can make a business stand out. The survey should help businesses, community organizations and local government learn more about what workers value in a workplace, and could prompt changes that strengthen quality of work.

Employers may learn what improvements or best practices they can implement in their workplace to give workers a stronger incentive to stay. And a good quality of work and work-life balance at a workplace can be a big selling point to potential new hires.

Individuals who complete the survey may find themselves better equipped to open up conversations with their managers about how their work quality can be enhanced. Results may also help those looking for work to identify industries that best support their quality of work goals.

Further, data collected through this survey can help community organizations/government develop better, more targeted programs and services to support our workforce’s needs.

The survey, which takes about 15 minutes to complete, is open to employees and job seekers 15 years and older who lives in Brantford, Six Nations, New Credit and Brant, Haldimand and Norfolk counties and will be running until September of this year. Those who complete the survey will have a chance to win a prize in a weekly draw.

The research project is funded by the Government of Canada’s Future Skills Centre, a forward-looking organization that prototypes, tests and measures new and innovative approaches to skills development across Canada. To learn more about Future Skills Centre, visit: fsc-ccf.ca

Thank you to our survey sponsors:

Summer student jobs and youth resources

Summer student jobs and youth resources

Companies around the Grand Erie region are currently hiring for summer student positions. These companies include Piller’s Fine Foods, Circle Square Ranch, Maple Leaf Foods, Linde Canada and Grand River Employment and Training.

Our Grand Erie Job Board allows youth to search for summer jobs in Brantford, Brant, Haldimand, Norfolk, Six Nations and New Credit. Currently dozens and dozens of summer student job openings are posted in the area.

Many non-profit community agencies such as Community Addictions and Mental Health Services of Haldimand and Norfolk, Habitat for Humanity, Norfolk Association for Community Living, Alzheimer Society and Lions McInnes House are currently advertising for summer students under a special government program called Canada Summer Jobs. All Canada Summer Jobs are searchable here: https://www.jobbank.gc.ca/youth

The COVID-19 Pandemic has added unique challenges for youth and their ability to find employment during the past few years. Help is available to youth who lack information about employment programs and job searching tools – and with their summer job hunt.

Educational institutions and area organization such as St. Leonard’s Community Services, Brantford-Brant Business Resource Centre (BRC), CareerLink and other regional employment service providers offer various programs and services across our region to not only help young people find a summer job; but 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.

For example, aspiring entrepreneurs ages 15 to 29 years old can apply for the Summer Company Student Grant Program offered through Brantford-Brant Business Resource Centre to students living in the City of Brantford, County of Brant, Haldimand and Norfolk Counties, and Six Nations of the Grand River.

The program lets students take the plunge into business ownership and teaches them how to problem solve, communicate effectively, and the importance of a strong work ethic. Students will also learn all aspects of running a business including how to manage their business finances, marketing and sales, customer service, building and controlling inventory and the behind the scenes work that is required to operate a successful business.

Successful applicants receive up to $1,500 to assist with start-up costs and an additional $1,500 on completion of the program.

Other Local Youth Employment 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 Norfolk: CMHA Brant Haldimand Norfolk – Mental Health for All  

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

Local unemployment falls to 2-year low

Local unemployment falls to 2-year low

March 2022 employment picked up, with the unemployment rate falling to a two-year low as more people entered the job market and found work.

Brantford-Brant’s jobless rate was 5.1% last month, down from 5.5% in February, according to seasonally adjusted March 2022 employment numbers released by Statistics Canada. March’s 5.1% is the lowest since January 2020, prior to the pandemic.

About 73,000 more people were working across Canada in March, dropping the national jobless rate to 5.3% – the lowest on record in almost five decades. Ontario saw almost half of the job gains and its rate also dipped to 5.3%.

Brantford saw several key labour force numbers improve in March, including employment rate, size of the labour force and the rate of participation. However, some of these numbers are still lower than they were a year ago.

“We’ve seen a steady improvement over the last few months in many areas, but we still have a ways to go,” said Danette Dalton, the Workforce Planning Board’s executive director.

“This time last year the employment rate was better and more people were active in the labour market. There are still people who haven’t yet re-entered the workforce and there is a lot of demand from employers.”

There was a record 4,000 jobs posted on the planning board’s Grand Erie Jobs community job board in March, about 800 more than the previous high seen last November.

About 2,000 area businesses had postings, with the most advertised jobs being material handler, retail salesperson, transit drivers, customer service representatives, and homecare and education support workers.

There are several short-term job training programs starting soon in the Brantford area, including a free, two-week introduction to welding course offered by the planning board at local colleges. Women, in particular, are being encouraged to apply to Skills2Advance Welding.

“There many available jobs, training programs and community supports out there for anyone looking for work or who want to retrain for new careers,” Dalton said.

Visit Statistics Canada’s website to read its news release on March 2022 employment in Canada and Ontario.

Brantford area jobless rate falls to 5.5%

Brantford area jobless rate falls to 5.5%

February 2022 employment numbers saw Brantford matching the 5.5% jobless rate recorded in Canada and Ontario.

About 800 more people were employed in the Brantford area last month, which led to the jobless rate falling a full percentage point from January’s 6.5% figure, according to estimates released by Statistics Canada on Friday.

The local unemployment rate has declined for several straight months, but February was the first time recently that it fell due to employment gains. Earlier declines were due to people leaving the labour force.

“It is great to see so many more getting back to work,” said Danette Dalton, executive director of the Workforce Planning Board. “There are many opportunities out there for job seekers, and many businesses are frustrated they can’t find people.”

A whopping 337,000 jobs were added across Canada, with Ontario accounting for 194,000 of those gains. About 114,000 jobs were gained across the country in accommodations and food services and a further 73,000 gains in culture, information and recreation – industries particularly hard hit by the pandemic.

It was good news almost across the board for Canada in general. There were job gains for both sexes, all age groups, Indigenous peoples, visible minorities and in most industries.

Brantford’s data for February 2022 employment suggest there were job gains in the service sector overall, especially in public administration, but fewer people were working in wholesale/retail trade. Employment was also down in manufacturing. Full-time employment was up overall and part-time work down slightly for both sexes, but men in the core working age group of 25-54 saw more gains.

In February, there were close to 3,000 job postings on Grand Erie Jobs, the community’s largest job board run by the Workforce Planning Board.

“There are many options for people entering the job market and there are many employers who want them,” Dalton said.

Visit Statistics Canada’s website to read its news release on February 2022 employment in Canada and Ontario.

Jobless rate drops without job gains

Jobless rate drops without job gains

January 2022 employment numbers for Brantford showed the unemployment plunged, but it was due to people leaving the labour force, not job gains.

The local unemployment rate for January was 6.5%, down from 7.6% in December, based on a survey conducted by Statistics Canada during the week of Jan. 9 to 15, soon after Ontario started a lockdown designed to lessen the impact of the Omicron virus.

Canada’s unemployment rate edged up to 6.5% in January, after employment fell by 200,000, attributed to lockdowns in several provinces that especially impacted women and youth working part time in service-related jobs. Ontario was the hardest hit province, losing 146,000 positions, causing the unemployment rate to jump to 7.3%.

“At first glance, it appears that the Brantford area bucked the trend and employment held steady despite the lockdown,” said Danette Dalton, the Workforce Planning Board’s executive director. “However, other job numbers suggest more people have left the labour market, which may be concerning.”

Statistics Canada also collects data on the number of people “not in the labour force.” This includes people who are neither employed nor actively looking for work, such as retirees, students and caregivers.

January 2022 employment numbers showed an estimated 41,500 area residents aged 15 and over not in the labour force, the highest level in 20 months since May 2020, during the pandemic’s first wave. The largest increase in this category is among women in the 65+ age group, some of whom may have worked part time previously.

“Women and students who might typically work part time in service jobs in food and retail may have become especially discouraged by all the disruptions, the ups and downs, caused by the pandemic,” Dalton said. “Some of those workers may return to the labour market once things stabilize.”

Others may have chosen to go back to school to retrain for different careers, looking for more stability in their work lives and better pay, she added.

During January, there were about 3,000 job postings on Grand Erie Jobs, the region’s largest job board, which is operated by the Workforce Planning Board. The number had dipped in December after surpassing 3,200 a month last fall.

Visit Statistics Canada’s website to read its news release on January 2022 employment in Canada and Ontario.

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