The Peterborough and the Kawarthas Chamber of Commerce held its annual Business Summit last month. Organizations of all shapes and sizes came together to discuss ways they can grow and prosper in the future. Businesses in the community seem to be all facing one common problem: staffing. Businesses are finding it nearly impossible to attract and retain employees.
There may be an untapped resource that businesses may have overlooked: the New Canadians Centre (NCC).
Andy Cragg, Executive Director of the NCC, was a panelist at the Summit’s discussion on workforce. Cragg pointed out that many new residents come to Canada willing and able to join the workforce.
On top of providing newcomers assistance to settle and integrate locally, the New Canadian Centre also offers employment support. This includes providing information about the local work environment, information on the accreditation and credential evaluation process, and a connection to other support programs and services.
“We have approximately 15 adult clients and 15 youth clients, but this number is always fluctuating as new people arrive in our community. Even if someone is not necessarily actively looking, if a good opportunity for them arises, our counselors will still reach out to them; for newcomers especially, it can take some time to make the connections in Canada to secure work that is in line with their previous training and experience,” stated Michelle Nguyen Peterborough Immigration Partnership (PIP) Officer of the New Canadians Centre.
Information on Labour and Immigration Statistics:
· Employers and governments are increasingly relying on immigrants to fill labour shortages as more Canadians are reaching retirement age
· Peterborough faces labour shortages in the healthcare industry, skilled trades, and business and finance sectors
· Over 1.3 million new immigrants were admitted to Canada from 2016 to 2021, more than the last five-year period
· Immigrants aged 25 to 54 account for 36.3% of all core-aged employment in accommodation and food services; 37.8% in transportation and warehousing, 34.1% in professional, scientific and technical services, and 20.1% in construction
· The Workforce Development Board predicts that, between 2019 and 2026, 22.5% of all new workers are expected to come from immigration
Nguyen also stated the NCC helps newcomers navigate the process on training into the industries in Canada. Nguyen also stated that the NCC helps newcomers navigate the process of acquiring the training needed to work in specific industries in Canada.
“We can help clients pursue recertification or attain new certification through programs we run (CPR/First Aid, Smart Serve, Heights Training). In addition, we've been working to address language barriers for essential/ministry-mandated training with a local health & safety training provider (HRS Group Inc.). Fleming Employment has run promising programs like Pathways to Prosperity but language level is an issue for some newcomers to participate successfully.
More generally, we conduct language assessments and refer people, when relevant, to language courses, depending on clients' needs,” Nguyen explained.
As well, the Federal Government has introduced the Economic Mobilities Pathway Pilot program. This program would match, “skilled refugees and other displaced people” with businesses to fill “in-demand jobs in Canada”. More information on this program can be found at this link.
If you are interested in learning more about the programs offered by the New Canadians Centre, check out their website nccpeterborough.ca
The Peterborough and the Kawarthas Chamber of Commerce acts as a catalyst to enhance business growth, opportunity, innovation, partnerships and a diverse business community.