Manufacturing Growth is no longer an indicator of job growth
As Canadian manufacturing companies begin to see an improvement in Canada’s manufacturing industry, workers in the industry are not necessarily seeing the same improvements in job growth. Since February 2012 the industry has seen a modest 2.3% increase, yet job growth has declined by 2.8% in that same span. Lack of job growth can be attributed to a number of factors, mainly the automation of many traditionally manual work processes in addition to the deficit of skilled workers in many key industry areas including CNC machining.
In order to manage this impeding transition to automation within our manufacturing processes, we must train our workforce to ensure continued growth in the industry as well as ignite an increase in job growth.
After steadily declining over the past 10 years (3.1% average annual decrease from 2001-2010), the Canadian manufacturing industry is enjoying its most prosperous time in the past decade. Job growth numbers; however, do not represent this recent surge in the industry. Automated equipment gives manufacturers many different ways to reduce and/or replace labour, which ultimately indicates that manufacturing activity no longer undoubtedly creates manufacturing jobs. As an industry, it is important to continue this recent upward trend in manufacturing activity, but we must also develop solutions to produce more job opportunities available to displaced workers in the manufacturing industry. One way to spark job growth is by providing workers with adequate training in automated CNC machinery to help them adapt to changing manufacturing conditions. The Ontario Sheet Metal Workers Training Centre, located in Oakville, ON, is a great example of the type of training being given to potential sheet metal workers. The training centre is a 30,000 sq ft facility with state of the art CNC technology including the MultiCam 1000 Series CNC Plasma cutter. This is beneficial as it supplies aspiring manufacturing workers with the knowledge of new programs and technology that will continue to be used prominently in the manufacturing industry. As the industry transitions to automated CNC technology, the need for qualified machine operators becomes more prevalent and adequate training, like the training provided at the Ontario Sheet Metal Workers Training Centre may provide a remedy for this need. CNC technology has had a large impact on the resurgence of the manufacturing industry and will continue to be of importance in the future.