Several years after the publication of our comprehensive Labour Market Information (LMI) study, The National Human Resources Sector Study for the Advanced Wood Processing Industry in Canada, the information continues to be widely used.
We recently provided some significant input aimed at the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, around their efforts to study workforce issues in both the primary and value added wood products industries. We were able to take our LMI, provide a synopsis of the challenges facing sector firms in the province and propose potential solutions to those challenges. We also provided a good deal of our information and some observations to a similar process that is underway in New Brunswick.
We are aware that our LMI has been used extensively by companies, by programs and educational institutions and by many levels of government to plan, to expand facilities and services, to retain resources, to understand our sector and to have more informed deliberations when creating government programs and setting policy.
Our research has provided an extensive sector profile, looked at workforce demand and projections, considered related HR issues and provided options, recommendations and potential actions on solutions.
For the WMC itself, the Sector Study was our research document, allowing us to put forth strong and credible business cases for developing the many HR solutions that we have created over the past 10 years. Information that formed the basis for the Sector Study came from manufacturers and key sector stakeholders nationwide, so it was input from employers, educators and policy makers that was the foundation of this work.
We are now looking ahead to the possibility of instituting another round of labor market information, to capture the most recent developments in the industry and to help people to understand the current situation – following the economic downturn and moving further into the recovery.
Labour market information – details about the labour market, on skills and job trends also applies to individuals, helping them in critical decisions that they are making about their careers. For our companies, the details that can be provided on labour supply and demand, on wages and on a variety of other variables can be extremely useful to them. They play into decisions firms have to make on retention, training, recruitment and in the many investment and business choices they make in the course of running their companies.
Be sure to check out and take advantage of our Going Global training program, our brand-new e-learning solution that will help you to create a ‘bulletproof’ export plan. This is world-class on-line export training, and it’s free. It is a comprehensive, online course that covers the key pillars of successful international trade and it doesn’t require taking staff offline or paying for travel. Going Global delivers high-impact content from top experts and puts extensive backup materials at your fingertips.
The online modules include Global Supply Chain Management and Importing; International Trade Research and Marketing; International Trade Finance and Cultural Aspects of International Trade.
In creating the content, WMC has worked closely with the Forum for International Trade Training, a group dedicated to providing international business training, resources and professional certification to individuals and businesses. Their mission is to build the proficiency – knowledge, skills and abilities - of people businesses and organizations to access global markets, reduce and manage the risks of integrative trade and enable profitable competition. WMC arranged to consolidate some of FITT’s impressive material into four modules and adapted the content for the wood manufacturing industry.
It is easy to get started and to get your people trained and ready to develop an export plan for your enterprise.
Go to www.goingglobal.com, register for the program and complete each of the four modules at your own pace. Start building your international capacity today. Contributing to the enhancement of international trading skills was one of the many items that was raised in our labour market information research, so Going Global is our product to contribute to this aspect of the skills development needs of Canadian wood manufacturing firms.
The WMC continues to be active in promoting opportunities for our pre-employment training program. We have had the good fortune to visit and to work with employers, educators, communities, equity agencies and governments in providing awareness about and in the presentation of this training.
Through this work we are exposing new potential candidates to the wood manufacturing sector, assisting with important essential skills such as life and employability skills and using relevant and knowledgeable delivery partners to provide participants with basic wood manufacturing training that will assist them to better compete for the entry-level positions available in our industry.
Given the reaction, we expect to see the use of our Wood Employee Readiness Curriculum (WERC) increase significantly across the country in the coming months. We will report back in a future column on the progress we make.
We would also welcome the opportunity to create a work program in your area, specifically for your company, or in your city or region, where multiple manufacturers can participate and benefit from the program’s graduates.
Visit our website www.wmc-cfb.ca/programs/werc.
Richard Lipman is president of the Wood Manufacturing Council.