ACC media release: May 20, 2021
For immediate release
Major skills shortages expected over next three years
EDMONTON — In a recent survey conducted by the Alberta Chambers of Commerce (ACC) network, valuable data were gathered in regard to skills, training, and the labour market.

Outside of the Edmonton and Calgary areas, a lack of technical skills was more often cited as a barrier to recruitment compared to last year (44 per cent). Businesses have continued to express a lack of people skills as a barrier for recruitment across all regions (44 per cent). Of note, a lack of applicants has increased to 42 per cent, up 14-points compared to 2020 – the largest increase among all barriers.
Lack of people skills, technical skills, and lack of applicants are the top cited barriers for recruiting the skills businesses need.
Among all businesses, four-in-ten (40 per cent) anticipate that skills shortages will have a significant or moderate impact on their ability to thrive over the next year – only a slight softening compared to a year ago. Businesses with 20 to 49 employees were most likely (51 per cent) to anticipate skills shortages would negatively impact their operations.
Forty per cent of respondents anticipate that skills shortages will significantly or moderately impact their business.
Among businesses that already find it difficult to hire people with the entry- or mid-level skills they need, the largest skills shortages expected over the next three years are industry-specific technical skills (38 per cent), followed by problem-solving skills (28 per cent), service orientation (28 per cent), and commitment to quality (26 per cent).

"Although businesses are beginning to feel more positive about Alberta's long-term future since the pandemic began, these data – gathered in March 2021 – show that there is a lack of basic and straightforward skills available for recruitment, with the biggest impact on smaller businesses," says Kobly. "Our network is actively working with Alberta's post secondaries to help bridge skills gaps and streamline talent recruitment so businesses of all sizes can contribute to a strong economic recovery."
The largest skills shortages over the next three years are expected for industry-specific technical skills, with 38 per cent of businesses expecting shortages – an increase of 10-points compared to a year ago.
Read the full Alberta Perspectives survey report and analysis.
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For comment, please contact: 

Ken Kobly
President and CEO
Alberta Chambers of Commerce
(M) 780.975.1659
(P) 780.425.4180 Ext.5

The Alberta Chambers of Commerce is a federation of 122 community-based chambers of commerce representing more than 25,000 job creators.

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