Blog

What Every Recruiter Should Know About the Skilled Trades Labour Shortage

Rows of construction hats lined up

Share This Post

If there is one issue recruiters and staffing agencies should be paying attention to right now, it’s the labour shortage in the skilled trades. In industries that employ skilled workers, employers are seeing unprecedented job vacancy levels—and the trend is expected to continue. Over the next decade, the employment gap will be the greatest challenge faced by sectors of the economy that rely on skilled workers to meet their labour needs.

Problems resulting from the labour shortage have already begun. For recruiters, the issue is affecting staffing across a range of fields, from construction and manufacturing to mining and oil and gas. As skilled workers become more challenging to find and hire, the role of recruiters and staffing agencies will become more valuable than ever before.

What is causing the skilled labour shortage?

The skilled labour shortage is the result of a combination of demographic changes and pipeline issues, both of which were accelerated by effects from the pandemic.

Demographic changes

The primary cause of the labour shortage is the aging workforce. Baby boomers, who once made up a significant portion of skilled workers, are retiring in large numbers, leaving a pronounced gap in the workforce. According to a report released in 2022 by Employment and Social Development Canada, 700,000 skilled trades workers will retire by 2028, causing an unprecedented worker shortage.

Pipeline issues

Compounding the issues caused by the retiring workforce, the skilled trades are also suffering from a shrinking pipeline of new workers. To meet the shortfall, Canada will need to recruit skilled labour from outside the country and funnel more students into apprenticeships straight from high school.

Unfortunately, the pathway from high school to the trades is not as well-defined as it was in the past. A lack of awareness around the benefits of working in the skilled trades and a teacher shortage at the high school level—the time when students typically get exposed to career possibilities—are thought to be causing a decrease in the popularity of such fields.

A report from the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum also points out that systemic issues such as outdated biases, stereotypes around skilled work, and a lack of recruitment from underrepresented groups are also contributing to the shortage of new apprentices.

Pandemic challenges

While the federal and provincial governments are rapidly implementing programs to train a new generation of workers, such programs were largely put on hold in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic. The additional delay impacted the pipeline of new workers, and apprenticeships and trade certifications have yet to catch up to pre-COVID-19 levels. Work stoppages during the pandemic also led many older workers to take early retirement, accelerating the demographic shift and its resulting issues.

What is the role of recruiters in addressing the labour shortage?

Recruiters play a critical role in addressing the labour shortage in the skilled trades. To effectively increase recruitment, staffing professionals should be aware of the challenges that contribute to the labour shortage and be prepared to adapt their hiring strategies accordingly. These are some of the top issues recruiters and staffing agencies should be considering as they make the shift.

The labour market

Recruiters should be aware of the labour market conditions in their industry and region. This includes understanding the current demand for skilled trades workers, the competition for talent, and the demographics of the available workforce.

Targeted recruitment strategies

Given the shortage of skilled trades workers, recruiters should focus on targeted recruitment strategies. This may include developing relationships with trade schools, technical colleges, and vocational schools to recruit new talent. It may also include reaching out to veterans, women, and other underrepresented groups to increase diversity in the workforce.

Competitive compensation

To attract skilled trades workers, recruiters should offer competitive compensation packages that reflect the value of the work being done. This may include offering higher salaries, benefits, and opportunities for advancement.

Career development

Skilled trades workers obtain unique skills and experiences that can be difficult to find in other industries. Recruiters should emphasize the potential for career development and the opportunities for on-the-job training, apprenticeships, and mentorship.

Positive company culture

Finally, recruiters should emphasize and reinforce the positive culture that values skilled workers and provides a supportive work environment. This may include highlighting the importance of safety, providing opportunities for employee feedback and input, and promoting work-life balance.

The bottom line

If you work in staffing or managing skilled workers, the ongoing labour shortage is likely to be the defining issue for your work over the next decade. It’s critical to understand the causes underlying it, including the demographic changes and pipeline issues that affect the supply of workers.

It’s also vital to understand how you can anticipate and pre-empt problems caused by the shortage by adapting your recruitment strategy. Staffing professionals should work to understand the labour conditions in their industry and region, employ targeted recruitment strategies, ensure competitive compensation, and offer career development and positive company culture to candidates. In the increasingly competitive market for labour, everything you can do to attract new workers will make a difference.

More To Explore

Get Started Today!

Discover how Labourly™ saves you time and money by intuitively managing your diverse and skilled workforce.

Scroll to Top
Headshot of Muhammad Osama Iftikhar, formal attire with a blurred background at an event.

Muhammad Osama Iftikhar

Developer

Simplicity is the soul of efficiency.” Austin Freeman

A skilled and motivated software developer, Osama is passionate about delivering cutting-edge solutions that drive business growth and improve customer experience.

His role on Labourly draws upon expertise that spans multiple programming languages and technologies, and the strength of his academic credentials including a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science and an Intermediate diploma in Pre-Engineering.

Osama’s experience ranges from developing custom web applications to building high-performance, scalable systems. He is a recognized asset on our Labourly team.

Muhammad Ehsanullah

Developer

Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but rather when there is nothing more to take away.” Antoine de Saint-Exupery

A valued member of our Labourly development team, Ehsan has a Bachelor of Computer Science and proven analytical, programming and coding skills.

An experienced web developer, Ehsan’s abilities are supported by impressive knowledge of cutting-edge technology and an exemplary understanding of database management systems, data structure, analysis and design of algorithms, and software engineering.

Ehsan focuses his skills and attention on design, installation, testing, and maintenance of web application development systems – as he continually reinforces industry best practices through his use of user interface, testing, and debugging processes.

Cheryl Lane

Application Tester

Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value“.  Albert Einstein

Cheryl Lane is a true “solution developer”. She is passionate about collaborating with clients and team members on projects that encompass requirement-gathering, design, configuration including UI, business logic, and integration between components. She enjoys finding the answer to problems and focusing her strong interest in IT analysis and project management toward the answers that form workable solutions.

With a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and her strengths in project management, technical documentation and troubleshooting, Cheryl has proven a welcome addition to our team.  

She is extremely familiar with business operations platforms such as SharePoint, and experienced in managing and increasing software adoption, configuration, administration, and development. Cheryl’s broader expertise in training individuals on best use and optimization of software platforms is an additional benefit for our clients. 

Reggie Malebranche

Growth Consultant

“What you have done is nothing, compared to what you can do.” -Grant Cardone

Enthusiastic and committed to success in sales, customer service, and business development, Reggie brings his energy and determination to our core Labourly™ Growth team.

With a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Simon Fraser University, and a laser focus on his goal of connecting people with exactly what they want and need, Reggie stays current in technology sales and customer service training, challenging and sharpening his skills with courses through the Grant Cardone Business Training University.

He has an entrepreneurial spirit that can be seen throughout his career, and has established lasting relationships in the hospitality and technology sectors. Reggie consistently exhibits a “whatever it takes” attitude toward customer service. He willingly goes above and beyond, to identify the issue that is limiting productivity, and present the most effective solution for our Labourly™ clients.

Ahmed Naseer

Developer

“Never allow the same bug to bite you twice.” – Steve Maguire, software engineer and author of Writing Solid Code and Debugging the Development Process 

Ahmed is an experienced software engineer focused on achieving the highest level of quality. He consistently targets the space for technological improvement, and is driven to develop new ideas. He delivers timely results through advanced solutions.

With a Bachelor in Computer Science and more than six years of web application development experience, Ahmed is fluent in .Net technologies, cloud services, and Azure DevOps Services.

Ahmed combines his expertise in the technical management of code with his passion for ensuring a smooth process for deployments. He is an integral part of our Labourly development team.

Ibrahim Mushtaq

Developer

“If humans can understand the code you have written, consider yourself a good programmer.”

A firm believer that teamwork makes the dream work, Ibrahim is a team player in the truest sense, going above and beyond to help anyone in need. He is ideally suited to his role as Application Tester for Labourly, our latest productivity platform, combining his natural desire to provide assistance with his exceptional skills.

Ibrahim has a Bachelor of Computer Science (Honours) degree, and he specializes in anything related to problem solving through coding. He is thorough, diligent, and determined to take technology to the point of perfection.

From game programming, to hosting apps on the cloud, Ibrahim is a skilled full stack developer who speaks the language of IT fluently. He puts his technical knowledge and skills to best use every time.

James Ezekiel Ventura Headshot

James Ezekiel Ventura

Digital Technology Associate

“We all have the ability to come from nothing to something.” – David Goggins, Ultramarathon athlete, speaker, and author

An information technology specialist with 5+ years of project management experience, James applies his expertise in project planning, strategizing and implementation while working with multi-cultural teams to develop business efficiency measures that impact our organizational operations and client services.

James has exceptional problem-solving skills that include facilitating the responsive execution of action plans to maximize project management effectiveness and reduce risk.

With a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering, his focus on development of digital-based processes and procedures supports creation of inclusive policies and robust guidelines that strengthen Resonant Solutions’ best practices.

Julia Peden

Product Manager

“Design is so simple; that’s why it’s so complicated.” – Paul Rand

A graduate of both Western University’s Bachelor of Arts in Media, Information & Technoculture, and Fanshawe College’s Interactive Media Design program, Julia brings a flair for the creative and an impressive capacity for technical management to her leadership role.

She balances vision and functionality – with her combination of UI and UX research and design, and carefully crafted workflows.

Julia manages the effectiveness of our full team of Labourly™ by creating prototypes that visually represent the “big picture” concept and converting her designs into a series of tasks built into multiple workflows with realistic timelines. Responsibilities for this sprint planning include assigning the required tasks to developers and overseeing the process through from development and testing to completion.

She manages both the internal and external operations of Labourly™. This two-pronged responsibility includes ensuring the functionality of our software platform, while guiding the onboarding and ongoing support of a fast-accelerating number of new clients.

Julia’s focus is always on Labourly™ user experience. She responds quickly to client feedback – by planning, assigning, and overseeing all internal tasks while providing guidance as they resolve technical issues. Julia’s biggest contribution is streamlining the process for design and development of new platform features by transforming big ideas into tangible solutions.

Jane Ramachandran

Co-Founder

“There’s always a way…”

Jane Ramachandran (B.Sc., MBA), President and CEO of Resonant Business Solutions Inc., lives by the motto “there’s always a way to reach the goal”. With this outlook, Jane provides a high-level of problem solving, expertise and fluency in business development, administration, project scheduling, cost budgeting, and grant funding from idea to post-submission.

As a business development consultant with over two decades of experience, Jane equips clients with tried and true strategies to increase their impact, get stakeholders on board, and attract marketplace support. Drawing on the worlds of science, business, and technology, Jane has a well–honed instinct and a proven ability to craft compelling proposals that sell grant-worthy ideas and projects.

At the top of her field, Jane was nominated as an Influential Woman of Northern Ontario and 2015 Winner, Canada’s Top 10 Aspiring Women Entrepreneurs. Jane has assisted in developing grant proposals for projects collectively valued at >$1 billion for a roster of post-secondary institutions, research centres, private sector clients, and not-for-profits. Responsive client support, business and funding expertise, and big-picture strategies propel clients and their projects to the forefront of innovation in their sector.

Vicknesh Ramachandran

CEO & Co-Founder

“Success is rooted in relationships.”

Championing a philosophy that places relationships and service at the forefront, Vick sets the standard for leadership in the tech industry. His affable personality, coupled with an uncanny ability for problem-solving, creates an environment where even the most complex technological challenges seem manageable.

With a span of nearly 20 years in the industry, Vick’s expansive experience encompasses a range from web portal designs to groundbreaking app development, making him a versatile pioneer in the realm of Tech solutions. As an esteemed technology solutions and network specialist, his proficiency has led to the successful execution of numerous projects, earning him the trust of a diverse clientele.

At the helm as CEO, Vick’s role is multifaceted – leading the IT app and web development team, overseeing technical architecture, development, and ceaselessly scouting for cutting-edge technologies that augment our clients’ professional capabilities and productivity.

Vick’s vision transcends the conventional archetype of an “IT guy.” He is a mentor and an educator, nurturing growth and understanding within his team. More than that, he is a recognized authority in the domain of IT and app development, offering bespoke technology solutions that cater to present needs while aligning with future objectives.

Vick Ramachandran: A relationship-driven leader revolutionizing the technology landscape one project at a time. Connect with him on LinkedIn or set up a meeting to discover how his unique blend of technology expertise and people-centric approach can drive your business forward.