TORONTO — With the election campaign underway, Rocco Rossi, President and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, says his organization wants to hear from the political parties on the “most pressing issue” of labour shortages affecting broad areas of the economy, including agriculture.
“Across sectors, employers in Ontario cannot find enough qualified candidates to fill job vacancies. Labour shortages are exacerbated by shifts in the workforce that occurred during the pandemic and by what is known as a ‘skills mismatch’ – a dynamic in which employers’ needs don’t align with the skill sets of job seekers,” Rossi said in a May 11 statement on the topic.
“Access to talent is vital to fostering business growth, meeting consumer demand and our overall competitiveness. While immigration is a tool used to fill short-term gaps, Ontario needs a sector-specific workforce development strategy to prepare us for tomorrow’s labour market. We need a proactive approach with an emphasis on attracting and retaining skilled labour in high-demand sectors of the economy. These include, but are not limited to, construction, logistics, early childhood education, agriculture and food and beverage manufacturing, health care, and long-term care.
“We would like to see clarity on what all parties are planning to address this most pressing issue.”