A vast majority of employers in the region are finding it increasingly difficult to find workers to hire.
Last year alone, 65 per cent of area employers in various fields had job vacancies that they found tough to fill in the previous 12 month, according to the 2019 EmployerOne Survey done by the Workforce Planning Board of Waterloo Wellington Dufferin.
It i the seventh straight year for the survey.
“I think the result that surprised us is that more and more employers are finding it harder to find people to fill positions,” said Workforce executive director Charlene Hofbauer, adding that it 65 per cent is the highest number they have ever seen.
“I think it might be growing every year, the percentage, because looking at positions, there are a lot of professional careers that maybe people aren’t going into but there are also really great jobs that I don’t think job seekers are even considering.”
A total of 542 employers completed the 2019 EmployerOne Survey across Waterloo Wellington Dufferin and 58 of the 102 Guelph employers that took part in the survey said that they had difficulty hiring over the previous 12 months.
Employers in the manufacturing and accommodation and food services sectors reported the greatest difficulty with 80 per cent of employers saying they had difficulty filling vacant positions in the past year.
Fifty four per cent of the employers surveyed stated that there were not enough applicants, 48 per cent stated that there were a lack of qualifications, 44 per cent stated there was a lack of motivation and attitude, 39 per cent stated that there was a lack of work experience and 36 per cent stated a lack of technical skills in the applicants.
“Our manufacturers have a lot of positions and there’s a lot of opportunities for growth in those positions and I just don’t think some people are considering some of the industries that are growing that are doing well,” said Hofbauer.
She said there are some very specific scientific and technical services in the Guelph area that are also connected to agriculture and the environment.
“Those agencies seem to be having some issues finding people,” said Hofbauer.
”Many local employers need people and feel that job seekers are not applying to positions, or when they do, they don’t have the skills and aptitude that employers are seeking. It raises questions as to whether job seekers feel they have the skills and experience to apply to available opportunities and how employers define those skills and experiences.”
The Workforce Planning Board is still looking for employers to complete their surveys for 2020 to gather information to help support colleges and groups who work with job seekers to improve their programs to meet employer needs.