Nine Solutions to Overcome Labor Scarcity

GUEST BLOG. If you thought you wouldn’t hear about labor shortages anymore, you missed it! The fall in the labor replacement index will continue until 2030, before stabilizing towards equilibrium around 2035.

To overcome this labor shortage and avoid hitting the wall, I suggest nine possible solutions. I think it is important to distinguish the measures according to their impact over time.

Short term solutions

  1. Economic immigration

You suspect that economic immigration, in addition to providing people who specifically meet needs, is a short-term solution that makes sense.

  1. The return or maintenance of older people at work

Our elders have given enormously during their careers. However, there are several measures that would make it possible not to deprive themselves of their rich experience, without them returning full-time.

Whether through tax incentives or simply through mandates adapted to the schedule that suits them best, various options are available to us.

  1. Students

They are a force not to be overlooked either! This would require dusting off programs frozen in time.

Adding a practical component instead of optional courses in higher education would, for example, be an interesting solution. In addition to giving employers a boost, this would be an interesting way for students to implement and update the knowledge acquired until they graduate.

Medium term solutions

  1. Remote clienteles

They are also part of the solution!

Whether it is young people not in employment, education or training (NEEE), people with disabilities or any other group whose employment rate is below average, the shortage is an extraordinary opportunity to be exploited in order to to have a more equitable society thanks to the insertion of these in the labor market.

  1. Optimization of the public sector

In June 2022, there were 4,357,000 workers in Quebec, according to the Institute of Statistics. However, according to the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, Quebec had 546,939 civil servants in March 2022. This is 33% more civil servants per capita than the other provinces for only one more ministry.

It would be good to ask the question: why?

In a context of scarcity, you have to think that each new public job – and they are growing – has an impact on the private sector.

However, without private growth, sustaining our social model becomes impossible.

All sectors must be optimized in terms of productivity and human resources. The public sector must not escape this.

  1. Technological transition

Reviewing a business model or optimizing processes is not an easy task! Adapting our institutions and our businesses to technological changes, even though we are lagging behind in the field, is clearly a major challenge!

Many investments and government aid are planned. However, the changes are slow and many overwhelmed entrepreneurs – particularly due to the shortage of labor – do not engage in the technological shift.

Let’s hope that the investments announced by the Government of Quebec as well as the Government of Canada will be sufficient to create a wave of change.

  1. Investments in productivity

Are we witnessing a turning point?

While Quebec was dead last in investments in productivity innovation among the countries of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the last two years have seen a boom in catching up.

This trend must imperatively be maintained in order to hope to remain competitive in the long term.

Long term solutions
8- Literacy and numeracy

According to the Literacy Foundation, in 2021, nearly 20% of Quebecers were illiterate and nearly 15% had serious difficulty reading and writing.

In a context where technology always takes more place, how do you fill jobs that always require more knowledge with people who cannot read or count?

  1. The importance of having a long-term vision

We can’t be told that we couldn’t foresee the labor shortage, when the fertility rate had dropped sharply and we knew the retirement horizon of the baby boomers .

In the same way, while we want to develop the regions, we do not have enough housing to accommodate the desired workers. Without solutions, we risk missing the opportunity to reindustrialize Quebec and force new relocations.

As we face this unprecedented challenge, the solutions provided must not make us forget that other

issues will arise. Hopefully we can be foresighted.

The immense challenges of today should not make us lose sight of those of tomorrow

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