Vol 9, Issue 2, September 10, 2021
Hamilton's Labour Market Connection
Your weekly news & updates from WPH!
In this week’s edition: Reimagining education through a career development lens, Employers struggle to find workers with the right skills, Five ways to build a hybrid mindset, and Virtual youth committee volunteer opportunity.
Reimagining education through a career development lens
Pre-pandemic, two in five school leavers, even those with degrees, failed to transition smoothly from school to a good job[1]. Many began their career unemployed or in a precarious, low-wage, no benefits job unrelated to their studies and interests, with a sinking feeling that they were led astray and were not ready for life beyond school. Those who graduate into underemployment are five times more likely to remain stuck in mismatched jobs after five years compared with those who start in a college-level job. Ten years later, three-quarters of workers underemployed at the five-year mark have not progressed[2]. Many worry that they may never find a ‘good’ job, pay down student debt, buy a house, a car, or build a family and the life their parents and society expect them to. Those now in their first year beyond school are facing even more COVID-19 inflicted danger, difficulty, and disappointment.
Employers struggle to find workers with right digital skills
Nearly 8 in 10 (79 per cent) of Canadian employers say the pandemic has changed the way they work, and they need more employees with IT skills.
To address this, 69 per cent plan to hire more staff over the next three years, according to a KPMG survey.
However, more than two-thirds (68 per cent) say they are having a hard time hiring people with the skill sets they need to grow. And more than half (52 per cent) are not confident they will find people with the skills they need and will consider recruiting outside Canada.

"The pandemic clearly provided a catalyst for many businesses to accelerate their digital strategies," says Armughan Ahmad, president and managing partner, digital at KPMG in Canada. "But implementing these strategies is becoming more difficult, as the competition for digitally skilled talent is accelerating globally."
Cyber/information security is the top skill they need to hire (24 per cent) and data analytics/analysis is the top skill required to meet this need (20 per cent).

Five ways to build a hybrid mindset
The pandemic has changed work forever. Organizations around the world are adopting hybrid work practices, advancing “work from anywhere” policies, or asking employees to return to the office full-time and, consequently, losing their workforce. We need to reimagine everything from meetings to performance management as well as who is doing what work when and, most importantly, why a task is being carried out in the first place. Adopting a hybrid mindset is essential for leaders who are shaping the emerging reality of work.

What is a hybrid mindset?
Like many folks around the world, I have spent the last year leading remote teams – over the past few weeks I have needed to shift my thinking in order to flexibly connect in-office and remote teams working across mostly asynchronous schedules. For me, building a hybrid mindset means getting comfortable with being uncomfortable as the world of work changes – folks in possession of a hybrid mindset can shift seamlessly across modes of work as well as connect authentically with different cultures, styles, and preferences. While Tim Rettig’s Medium article focuses on intercultural understanding, as opposed to the broader discussion of hybrid work, he nicely captures how folks with a hybrid mindset work differently:
They are capable of switching back and forth between the common behaviors of each culture instantly. They are not stuck in one way of thinking, and are able to appreciate the world’s diversity of thought. They have the ability to integrate seemingly paradoxical ways of thinking and thus create new ways of thinking and behaving.
If hybrid work means incorporating a mixture of in-office and remote work in an employee’s schedule (and empowering employees to pick and choose when, where, and how they work), then a hybrid mindset means possessing the thinking and behaviours that make navigating in-office and remote work easy, engaging, and high-performing for everyone.
Here’s how to make it happen for your community.

Virtual youth committee volunteer opportunity
Workforce Planning Hamilton is seeking young professionals interested in digital job development in the Hamilton region. WPH has been able to connect with you individually to discuss our upcoming Virtual Youth Committee.

The goal for this committee is to develop a community wide strategy to support high youth unemployment rates and to assist youth in the Hamilton region in navigating labour market information. This committee of youth and employers will be able to create a digital platform that will feature centralized information for youth in Hamilton. Our hope is that this information will ultimately help youth with networking opportunities, hiring processes, employer advice, and provide youth with a better grasp of what Hamilton’s labour market reveals to support with employment decisions.

Please reach out and send your resume to: info@workforceplanninghamilton.ca 

The Hamilton COVID Concierge for Business is a one-stop online resource centre and phone line dedicated to supporting Hamilton businesses with their COVID-19 business questions and concerns.
Hamilton businesses can call the COVID Concierge at 905-521-3989 (Mon-Fri, 8:30am-4:30pm) or Contact Us online.

The Hamilton COVID Concierge for Business is brought to you by the Hamilton COVID Concierge Team, comprised of the City of Hamilton and the three local Chambers of Commerce.
Workforce Planning Hamilton | 905-521-5777| info@workforceplanninghamilton.ca | www.workforceplanninghamilton.ca