Across Canada there is a need for qualified skilled labour. By doing this regional research, identifying the current and future needs of business, amalgamating data, and understanding the region’s gaps and needs more clearly, Central Alberta will elevate its competitiveness with a strategic and focused effort on labour force retention, training, and attraction nationally and internationally. This in turn, will support business development across the region. The findings of this report will help to mitigate the impact of a widening skills gap which is a result of variable factors including but not limited to; an anticipated high number of retirees, a diversification and shift in central Alberta economic drivers, an increase in the knowledge economy as well as an inadequate understanding of both the underrepresented and underemployed. Our response to address the gap will impact the provincial economy as well as Alberta’s global competitiveness to attract business and investment. Central Alberta wants to respond proactively and effectively and this report sets the foundation for that.
The seven partners wanting to undertake this project are Red Deer College, Olds College, Central Alberta Economic Partnership Ltd., Community Futures Central Alberta, Central Alberta: Access Prosperity, Burman University and Central Alberta Regional Innovation Network. These organizations reflect the community and business needs of over 35 municipalities, multiple indigenous groups, and over 12,000 businesses which provide employment, supply chain, and services to a population of approximately 400,000.
Currently, labour force data is available through monthly Alberta Labour reports, census statistics, and limited organizational collection of workforce data from employers through business visits and licensing / registry processes, etc. However, much of this labour force data is not sufficiently in-depth or specific to the region and its communities or businesses/ industry sectors identified in this region. The proposed CAEP Labour Profile Logistics will provide the following in-depth and region – specific data that is needed for business / industry, employment and training providers, increased understanding of underemployed and underrepresented groups, diversity, and investment attraction.
The seven partners require a deeper understanding of the current state of the economy as it applies to workforce needs and opportunities to fill the gap between the current state of the Central Alberta workforce and the future state of the Central Alberta workforce as it applies to labour needs demand. Future labour needs are shifting and for business retention, diversification and expansion as well as attraction, more information is required. This also provides the region with knowledge around which skill sets to attract through resident attraction programs inter provincially and internationally as well as upskilling demands for underrepresented groups. As such, the report will accommodate the following:
Provide a snapshot of Central Alberta economy, regional diversity, and brief overview of the region’s economic history through the lens of labour.
Provide information to inform workforce planning decisions and labour market adjustment strategies.
Become a business attraction tool by providing business and investors with the information required to speed up and simplify the decision making process.
Primary research will be performed and secondary research will include existing material review as a foundation. Numerous resources including CAEP’s Regional Investment Attraction Matrix, Robust Community Profiles, information gleaned from Municipal Investment Attraction Readiness Assessments/ Coaching and CAEP’s Industry Sector profiles will be reviewed. It will also utilize the good research completed through the sub regional report on the Towns of Sylvan Lake and Blackfalds, as well as the City and County of Red Deer. This information will be incorporated into the report and will identify gaps in the existing material as well. The Labour Profile will encompass the entire CAEP region providing valuable research and information to communities outside the above-mentioned jurisdictions.
This proposal aligns with the requirements of the Regional Labour Market Partnership Program as well as the Alberta Ministry of Labour and Immigration Business Plan 2019-2023. Specifically, it aligns with Outcome #2 : Albertans have the skills demanded by Alberta’s labour market now and in the future. This project will respond to the skills shortages across the region through this cross- sector collaborative effort providing evidenced based knowledge to influence and respond effectively to the province’s short and long-term labour market needs.
The regional labour profile will provide research and analysis on the current workforce in the region and as such, will identify labour force trends, workforce development gaps, and merging occupations. The data in the study will be used by local economic development practitioners to support workforce development and labour market initiatives that industry employers in the region request, thus encouraging increased workforce participation in Central Alberta.
The report will also be used to inform and speed up decision making of expanding business as well as potential investors.
An event, coined “The SUMMIT” will be held on June 24th in conjunction with the CAEP AGM at Red Deer College. The contractor will report on the findings of the research at this event and answer any questions that may arise from attendees. The contractor will also provide services for breakout sessions during the SUMMIT.
The project will go into another phase with a recruitment strategy contingent upon funding.
For further details, please refer to the Request for Proposal document.