Vol 10, Issue 3, October 15, 2021
Hamilton's Labour Market Connection
Your weekly news & updates from WPH!
In this week’s edition: why universities are failing to prepare students for the job market, , Q2 Data Report in Hamilton's Labour Market, food safety training courses pre-register information , Ontario’s 10-cent hike in the minimum wage is bad for workers, and Virtual youth committee volunteer opportunity.
Why universities are failing to prepare students for the job market

Students returned to university and college campuses across the country last month, and while COVID-19 has raised new challenges, anyone who has spent time on campus in the last decade knows concerns about the state of higher education are nothing new. 
In the United States, where some estimates now place student debt at over $1 trillion, college enrolment is declining, according to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. 
In Canada, news earlier this year that Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ont., filed for insolvency and creditor protection has caused some experts to worry. In an emergency parliamentary debate about Laurentian, Green Party MP Elizabeth May called it "the canary in our educational coal mine."
The challenges don't stop there. 
Tuition in Canada has been rising for domestic and especially international students, whom universities increasingly rely on to pay the bills. Public spending on higher education has been stagnant or decreasing. More and more, universities lean on part-time or adjunct instructors. Students are graduating into a brutal job market. And there are studies suggesting universities aren't always successful in providing graduates with the critical thinking skills employers are looking for.
"1 in 5 students in the Ontario college and university system are graduating with literacy and numeracy levels that do not meet what the OECD regards as basic standards"
Q2 Data Report in Hamilton's Labour Market
  • After the spike in the unemployment rate following the public health restrictions, the unemployment rate has decreasing dramatically in 2021
  • In June 2021 the unemployment rate was 4.7% compared to 12.1% in June of 2020
  • Industrial, electrician, and construction trades jobs grew the most in quarter 2, growing by 4,130 jobs
  • Assisting occupations in support of health services declined the most in total jobs decreasing by -4,470 jobs
  • There has been a large increase in job postings this quarter relative to last year, with over 8,817 job vacancies in quarter 2 in Hamilton
  • Wages only saw a slight increase from the previous year, increasing from $20.42 to $21.78

Food Safety Training Course Pre-register Information
Hill Park Learning Centre is accepting registrations for the Food Safety Training Course. Limited spots are available. Please see the attached flyer for specifics.

-Are you passionate about food? Looking for employment in the food service industry or want to provide safe food in your home? Learn the basic principles of handling food in a safe manner with our FREE Food Safety Training - Food Handler Certification Course.

  • These sessions are specifically supporting adults with developmental disabilities
  • Must be able to attend the course independently without the aid of a support worker
  • Participants are required to be 19 years of age or older (we can accept a small percentage of 18-year-old participants provided they are not attending high school)
·       Resident of Ontario
·       Have less than Grade 12 education
·       Have the ability to read, write, and be verbally articulate
·       Participants who are newcomers to Canada require a Canadian Language Benchmark Level 5 or 6 in Reading/Writing/Speaking/Listening (some Level 7's accepted)
All participants must pre-register prior to start date. This will involve completing online registration forms and an assessment to confirm suitability (nothing scary). We offer assistance during this process.

Pre-register information:
Call: Trevor Blanchette
905-561-2190 ext. 4791
E-mail: tjblanch@hwdsb.on.ca
Ontario’s 10-cent hike in the minimum wage is bad for workers, bad for businesses and bad for the economy
Last Friday, the minimum wage went up by one thin dime in Ontario. Is that enough? The answer is a resounding “no.”
Such a small raise won’t address the purported labour shortage in the province. In fact, despite widespread calls to meaningfully hike wages for often low-paid front-line workers since the pandemic hit, the minimum wage has lost ground to average wage growth in the province.
“Regular” minimum wage workers now get $14.35 an hour, students (essentially anyone under 18, even if they are full-time workers) get $13.50 and servers get $12.55.
There are other categories of minimum wage workers, and people who get paid in cash or have hours of work undercounted can get paid less than the minimum wage. So can many gig workers, who are not deemed employees so are not covered by minimum employment standards legislation.
The minimum wage matters to hundreds of thousands of households in Ontario because 16 per cent of employees, or almost a million people, worked at the minimum wage before the pandemic hit. That was the highest proportion of any province, and doesn’t include gig workers and the self-employed.
Long a jurisdiction reliant on low-paid work, Ontario’s history of minimum wage levels is erratic, to say the least. We’ve gone for years without an increase and seen big jumps in other years.
Sign Up to Youth Committee & Receive $10.00 Gift Card Of Your Choice
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 if you 15-29 years old and send your resume before Friday October 29th, 2021 : 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