The Timmins Employer Council has published a new guide to help local employers find and keep workers. Launched in May, the Employer Toolkit outlines strategies employers can use to help close a widening labour gap.
Statistics show attracting and retaining workers is a growing problem in the area. According to a 2018 report published by the Far North East Training Board, 40 per cent of Timmins' current workforce will retire in the next decade.
Council co-chair Mike Resetar said there aren't enough workers to fill current gaps, and businesses are struggling to expand because they don't have the staff required.
"We've been seeing it over a few years with the number of retirements that were happening, and we were quite alarmed when we saw what the statistics were," said Resetar, vice-president of human resources at the Timmins District Hospital.
"We're looking at 1,100 workers leaving the workforce, so in order to maintain current productivity or service, that's a lot of workers that need to be replaced."
Jessica West, project coordinator, said that successful employers are seeking workers from diverse groups, including Indigenous people, persons with disabilities, newcomers and young workers.
"The general public, or many employers, may not realize how valuable these employees can be," West said. "They shy away from targetting or attracting these groups, when they're really valuable employees and they have great things to bring to the table." There are sections of the toolkit dedicated to each demographic.
For example, hiring Indigenous people can mean lower recruiting costs because workers already live in the community and are likely to remain long term, the toolkit suggests. Having a more diverse workplace can also help create an inclusive community and bridge cultural gaps between Indigenous and non-Indigenous organizations.
To make a workplace more attractive to Indigenous workers, the toolkit suggests implementing meaningful inclusion practices, training staff on cultural awareness, encouraging...