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Labour Shortages in SKilled Trades - The Best Guestimate?

  • Rock Lefebvre


    (Certified General Accountants Association of Canada)

  • Elena Simonova


    (Certified General Accountants Association of Canada)

  • Liang Wang


    (Certified General Accountants Association of Canada)

Registered author(s):

    The aging population which is expected to change Canada’s demographic and a shift in modern educational preferences that often leaves skilled trades as an overlooked career option may increase the likelihood of labour shortages in skilled trades in Canada. The certainty of the existence of labour shortages is of a particular importance as an incorrect assessment may lead to a sub-optimal distribution of human capital and other resources. This paper aims to critically examine the presence of labour shortages in five prevailing skilled trades in five Canadian provinces over the past decade. The results of the analysis show that labour shortages are difficult to observe and measure directly, whereas the analysis is seriously limited by the availability of information on unemployment at the occupational level. Where sufficient data exists, labour shortages occurred rather sporadically and did not persist for more than one year at a time over the past decade. The age structure of skilled trades and labour mobility barriers are not likely to seriously influence labour shortages in trades. In turn, educational barriers may exist in skilled trades where growth in completion rates of apprenticeship training lags the growth in the number of registered apprentices.

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    Paper provided by Certified General Accountants Association of Canada in its series Working Papers with number 120702.

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    Length: 33 pages
    Date of creation: Jul 2012
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:cga:wpaper:120702
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    1. Andrew Sharpe & Jean-François Arsenault & Simon Lapointe, 2008. "Apprenticeship Issues and Challenges Facing Canadian Manufacturing Industries," CSLS Research Reports 2008-02, Centre for the Study of Living Standards.
    2. Mueller, Richard & Laporte, Christine, 2011. "The Completion Behaviour of Registered Apprentices: Who Continues, Who Quits, and Who Completes Programs?," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2011333e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
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