April 29, 2013 - Manitoba says it now has a new strategic action plan to prevent workplace injury and illness, and to better ensure every worker makes it home safely at the end of the day.
April 17, 2013 - The International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) says its MEWPs for Managers training course is launching around the world this year (MEWPs a.k.a. mobile elevating work platforms), and will include German, French, Italian, Dutch, Spanish and Portuguese (in addition to the States and United Kingdom). The course covers what managers need to know about using MEWPs on-site: from planning the job and completing a risk assessment, to selecting the right equipment and mitigating all possible risks. The one-day course includes topics such as health & safety regulations, accident prevention and control, personal protection equipment, and pre-use checks and maintenance. It targets project managers, foremen and supervisors working in a range of industries, such as construction, facilities management, retail, airports and arboriculture.
Sponsored by Randstad Engineering in conjunction with Engineers Canada, the report shows that there is job growth in that sector in British Columbia, Alberta, and the prairie provinces.
Here are some highlights:
Engineering markets in Saskatchewan are more cyclical and more varied, but supply constraints are an issue. Resource projects are absorbing all available engineers—especially mining engineers. Saskatchewan is a small market with big project demands that come and go. Local post-secondary programs are not able to keep pace. Engineering immigration has been limited and strong current demand is reflected as Canadians from other provinces seek jobs and licensure in the province;
Along with B.C., Alberta is the strongest engineering market in Canada. There was strong engineering job growth in the past year, however there are ongoing shortages and recruiting challenges for engineers with five to 10 years of experience or specialized skills. Growth in enrolments in post secondary programs for engineers has lagged behing national trends and may contribute to a tight labour market.
One of the two strongest engineering markets in Canada, B.C. faces skills shortages and volatile markets in resource related occupations like mining, metallurgical, and petroleum engineers. However conditions are more balanced for computer and industrial engineers. B.C employers will need to source engineers from other markets, however it is hard to attract them from other western provinces due to competitive compensation levels;
Expansion demands are concentrated in resource and utility projects. Construction, particularly in electrical generation and transmission, is a big driver. Labour markets are divided with ongoing shortages and recruiting challenges for engineers with five to 10 years of experience or specialized skills.
On a national basis, expansion demand is expected to create an additional 16,000 jobs for engineers by 2020. Virtually all of these jobs will be west of Quebec, with the bulk of them in Alberta and British Columbia. Alberta specifically has lagged behind national trends in enrolments in engineering programs and an additional 900 engineers are needed annually to balance market demand. In Manitoba, increased construction activity, in particular in electricity generation and transmission, is leading to increased need for qualified engineers.
"Employers in British Columbia will need to source engineers from other markets for much of the coming decade," said Stephen McCrum, Vice President, Western Canada, Randstad Engineering. "The focus will be on specialized and experienced engineers to replace retiring workers." The average age of employers in British Columbia is higher than in other provinces, raising replacement demand.
"In Saskatchewan specifically, engineering markets are in a state of flux," McCrum said. "It is a small market, with big project demands that come and go. Local engineering programs are not meeting the cyclical demands of the market as Canadians from other provinces seek engineering jobs in Saskatchewan."
The report suggests that markets will function better if human resources planning for engineers includes;
- Retaining older engineers in the workforce longer and adding to programs to accelerate on-the-job training of new graduates,
- Adapting post-secondary programs to meet the specialized needs of employers, and
- Increasing the supply of engineers in western Canada, through post-secondary programs and immigration.
The report takes an in-depth look at the country's current and projected engineering labour market conditions. It includes a detailed forecast of markets and key projects, along with changes in output and employment across Canada, from 2011 to 2020. It also features a thorough outlook that factors in economic and industry growth along with retirements and skill sets. It includes economic background with a detailed forecast of international conditions, commodity and financial markets, and a list of key industrial, resource, infrastructure, and other projects.
“Employers in the engineering field say we need good, skilled workers,” says Marcia Friesen, Director of the Internationally Educated Engineers Qualification Program at the University of Manitoba. “It just makes good business sense to do everything we can to bring international engineering graduates here and integrate them into our communities.”
The website, accessible at http://newcomers.engineerscanada.ca, was created to help international engineering graduates overcome common obstacles to integration. In many cases, newcomers are poorly informed of the licensure process in Canada, unaware of how long it takes or that requirements can differ from province to province. Many newcomers also lack the communication skills needed to successfully pursue an engineering career in Canada.
Written in clear, plain language for people whose first language may not be English or French, Engineers Canada’s website will help users make more informed career decisions. It offers practical information on topics such as getting licensed, finding suitable employment and integrating into the Canadian engineering profession, as well as guidance on the immigration process and adapting to Canadian culture.
Visitors to the website also have access to the new Academic Information Tool, which they can use to compare their undergraduate education to Canadian engineering programs to help them understand how their academic credentials are likely to be received in this country.
With Canada in need of more engineers with practical experience and specialized skills, ensuring the smooth and rapid integration of international engineering graduates is crucial to our economic growth and prosperity. The launch of this new website coincides with recent changes made to the Government of Canada’s Federal Skilled Worker Program that will make it easier for international engineering graduates to become ‘licence-ready’ before coming to Canada. (For example, the program now places greater emphasis on language proficiency and awards points based on the ‘true value’ of a person’s international education.) Through Engineers Canada’s site, potential newcomers can get a better idea of what exactly they should know and do ahead of time so they can make it through the Federal Skilled Worker Program selection system quickly and efficiently.
“In so many cases, people don't know what they're actually getting into when they come here,” says Kate MacLachlan, Director of Academic Review for the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Saskatchewan. “With this site, we’re looking to make sure international engineering graduates are as prepared as possible.”
“We have been living in the 'new normal' since 2009, but we are only now realizing that we will not soon return to the buoyant growth enjoyed before the recession,” said Karla Thorpe, director of leadership and human resources research. “The bargaining climate has fundamentally changed, and modest economic prospects matched by modest expectations may encourage pragmatism rather than rhetoric at the bargaining table.”
The Canadian and global economies face a period of slow near-term growth. The Canadian outlook is exacerbated by a strong currency, tepid productivity improvement, and demographic changes that will challenge government spending and revenue capacity over the long term. Employment growth in Canada has slowed this past year, reflecting ongoing employer nervousness about the economic climate.
Average base wage increases for unionized workers in 2013 are projected to be 1.8 per cent in the public sector and 2.1 per cent for the private sector. Given the current social and economic climate, a singular focus on increasing the union wage premium — currently down to less than eight per cent — may be counterproductive for the labour movement. Improving working conditions for workers and influencing public policy may prove to be a more fruitful approach.
Governments across all jurisdictions continue to focus on reducing their deficits and controlling public spending. Even after budgets are balanced, public sector employment and compensation (where more than 70 per cent of workers are unionized) will be subject to increasing restraint.
Some of this pressure will come from scrutiny into public sector pensions and benefits, which are often seen to be generous compared to the private sector. Future public sector bargaining will undoubtedly see these differences intensify.
Private sector bargaining outcomes will likely mirror the agreements reached in the auto industry in 2012, with reduced wages and increasing use of two-tier wage structures to make companies more competitive. At the very least, the results of bargaining in the auto industry will put downward pressure on wages in manufacturing and related industries.
“This new certification is about serving our customers better,” says Mike Vassallo, Magneto Electric president and general manager. “And about keeping our employees safe and at the leading edge of their trade.”
Confined space training is a specialized certification that’s done in addition to normal health and safety training. It’s a necessity for providing safe service in areas where atmospheric hazards may occur because of construction, location or contents. These areas are partially or fully enclosed, and are often not designed or constructed for continuous occupancy.
Recently, Magneto Electric serviced machinery in a confined space large food-manufacturing facility in Toronto’s west end. Magneto servicemen removed two pumps from a pit, and brought them back to the Magneto plant for a complete pump overhaul. The service included dismantling, inspecting and cleaning all parts, as well as the installation of new parts upon assembly, including a new wash down motor. On completion of the plant assembly, the pumps were tested and epoxy painted, at which point they were taken back to the facility and reinstalled in the original site. The client was pleased with the speed and quality of the work, and plan to use Magneto again in the future.
“Magneto Electric has been in the business since 1946, and we’re well-known as a company that works fast and gets the job done right,” says Vassallo. “Our customers count on us, and providing Confined Space Training is part of our commitment to bringing them the best possible products and services, and continuing the legacy of quality we’ve stuck to for over 65 years.”
Recipients will receive a package of Stanley & DEWALT tools such as cordless power tools, miter saws, scroll saws, and accessories valued at up to $10,000 for use in their Career and Technology Studies (CTS) labs.
"Stanley Black & Decker is proud to be involved with the 2012 Skills Canada National Competition. Our presentation of professional tool collections from Stanley and DEWALT will give students at five Alberta schools the advantage of transferring classroom knowledge to hands-on experience," says Jocelyn Stephen, brand manager with Stanley Black & Decker Inc. "We believe that helping young Canadians develop the skills necessary for successful careers ultimately benefits all of us by ensuring our country will have the strong, skilled workforce it needs going forward."
This donation builds upon other provincial and national initiatives being spearheaded by Skills/Compétences Canada and Skills Canada Alberta to help schools continue to deliver hands-on training and education programs that prepare students for careers in the skilled trades.
"Employers in Alberta, specifically in the energy sector, are in dire need of talented, young workers," said Chris Browton, executive director of Skills Alberta. "We hope that donations like these support students interested in skilled trades across Alberta and we can continue to attract more youth to successful careers in skilled trade and technology areas."
This year, more than 650 students from across Alberta participated in the Provincial Skills Alberta Competition, which took place May 10 to 11, 2012. Sixty-one winners from Alberta proceeded to the Skills Canada National Competition and 11 will be representing Alberta on Team Canada for WorldSkills Leipzig 2013, the largest event of its kind and considered the pinnacle of excellence in skilled trades and technologies training
The Skills Canada National Competition, which took place May 14-15th at the Edmonton EXPO Centre in Edmonton City, Alberta, recognized Canada's top champions in six skilled trade and technology categories: transportation, construction, manufacturing, information and technology, service and employment.
“We believe that, if pursued by individual organizations in isolation, efforts to solve these problems are likely to be less pronounced or impactful than if pursued collaboratively across stakeholder domains,” says Van Zorbas, a partner in Deloitte’s Calgary office and national leader of its Human capital consulting practice for the energy and resources industry. “All stakeholders – from the producers themselves to their suppliers as well as governments and communities – need to be at the table.”
Balancing the people equation expands on Deloitte’s Gaining ground in the sands 2012 (released in fall 2011), which argued that the imminent labour shortage is the principal challenge for the oil sands and offered a range of potential next steps. Balancing the people equation provides definitive answers to the questions raised by outlining a number of specific opportunities for oil sands companies and other stakeholders to work together on labour issues.
“We have had numerous conversations with companies operating in this difficult business and all of them agree that finding solutions to their human resources needs is a top priority,” says Geoffrey Cann, Deloitte partner and oil & gas consulting leader. “We are also seeing more interest in working together to face shared challenges head-on. Take the Oil Sands Tailings Consortium (OSTC), for example – that kind of collaborative spirit is precisely what is needed to balance what we call the ‘people equation.’ ”
The report describes four categories of collaboration (inter-company, intra-company, institutional and community) to help meet talent demands while satisfying myriad stakeholder concerns and increasing both the economic and social value of the oil sands.
For a more detailed discussion of collaborative approaches to oil sands talent management, download the full report.
Each year, the Minister's Awards for Apprenticeship Training honours employers for their commitment to training apprentices. The awards celebrate those that support the apprenticeship training system, show leadership in training apprentices, and promote careers in the skilled trades.
Nominations are being accepted until Feb. 29, 2012.
The announcement was made at automatic greasing systems specialist FLO Components' Mississauga, Ont., facility, with Glen Murray, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, and Mississauga-Brampton South MPP Amrit Mangat in attendance. FLO Components was a recipient of the award in 2011.
Four Ontario employers, including Mississauga-based FLO Components Ltd., are being recognized for their outstanding contributions to training the next generation of skilled workers.
"Ontario boasts more than 122,000 apprentices learning a trade today — that's double the number from 2002-03," Murray said. "We salute employers that train apprentices, and recognize that continuing to enhance our apprenticeship system will help build the skilled workforce Ontario needs to succeed."
The event recognizes 16 employers — from the four regions (northern, eastern, western, central) in Ontario — for their excellence in apprenticeship training. From these 16, four regional winners are chosen and honoured at an awards ceremony in the spring.
Nomination and selection are based on the following seven selection criteria:
- Commitment to the apprenticeship system by consistently employing and training apprentices and journeypersons.
- A focus on hiring youth, including youth hired through the Apprenticeship Scholarship and Employer Signing Bonus, and people experiencing barriers to entry into apprenticeship.
- Use of innovative approaches in support of specific on-the-job apprenticeship training, recruitment and long-term employment.
- Involvement in the formation of partnerships with other organizations including but not limited to ministry sponsored programs to expand apprenticeship, such as the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program, Employment Services, the Pre-Apprenticeship Program and the Rapid Re-employment and Training initiatives.
- Commitment to prior learning assessment and recognition by acknowledging and giving credit for experience.
- Commitment to building capacity in apprenticeship training by actively participating in the promotion and marketing of apprenticeship.
- Involvement in or support for community organizations dedicated to training and improving labour market outcomes, such as a provincial advisory committee or local apprenticeship committee, industry committee, local training board, board of trade or commerce, business-education council.
Generally, any company dealing with bearings benefits from such training programs — optimised efficiency at workplace and motivated employees are just two of the direct results of appropriate training.
For machinery manufacturers, design and product development engineers can maximise equipment performance and minimize the life-cycle costs by optimal design of bearing locations. In one case, after acquiring adequate knowledge, a product design engineer could save 50 percent costs on one bearing location without sacrificing performance.
Equipment end-users can profit from bearing training too. According to experts, human errors are a major cause of equipment failures. Correct handling of bearings — such as storage, lubrication, and mounting/dismounting — not only ensures less bearing damage and longer bearing service life, but also results in lower maintenance costs, improved safety and more equipment uptime.
Not only engineers and technicians benefit from bearing knowledge. Commercial personnel such as sales and purchasing professionals can improve their job performance through bearing training. For example, a buyer can reduce costs by choosing a technically equivalent product variant for the application, or sourcing bearings from an alternative supplier with equal quality.
How to choose bearing training
First of all, the training needs and goals of a company should be identified. It has to be determined who should be trained in which fields. Next, the training has to be incorporated into the staff-training plan. The following factors should be considered when choosing a bearing training program:
- Reliable training provider: Reputable bearing manufacturers, such as NKE, offer well-organised training seminars to business partners.
- Curriculum design: Ask the training provider for a curriculum outline. You should find out whether the courses are targeted to your employees (commercial, technical or workshop personnel), as well as the breadth, depth and structure of the courses. If the standard modules do not completely suit your needs, ask for customised courses.
- Instruction methods: Usually bearing training is conducted in small classroom groups (maximum 10 to 15 people) for a dedicated learning environment and individual attention. Visual aids and handout notes should be provided. For practical topics such as bearing handling, hands-on exercises should be included.
- Instructors: The instructors should possess a combination of solid theoretical foundation and practical experience in bearing applications. They should be competent in knowledge sharing and training.
Learning does not stop when training is over. What has been taught in the classroom must be practised in the real world. Depending on programs, the trainees should show improved performance within days to months after the training. The post-training evaluation should be taken into consideration when planning for the next programs.
Training is an investment in productivity. It equips technical and commercial professionals with the essential knowledge to enhance their job performance. For the company, it means optimized product development, reduced procurement and maintenance costs, increased facility uptime, enhanced safety, employee loyalty and customer satisfaction. All these contribute to the long-term success of a business.
This is an edited article provided by NKE. In Canada, NKE products are distributed through Global Bear Inc.