How other trades recruit:
on new talent BY JORDAN WHITEHOUSE
LABOUR SHORTAGE. It’s the chronic illness across the landscaping industry that just won’t go away. In August, the Canadian Agricultural Human Resources Council released a forecast which showed that if nothing changes, 40 per cent of landscape and grounds maintenance labourer positions will go unfilled over the next 10 years. For landscape and horticulture supervisors, that number could hit 35 per cent. Of course, this isn’t the only trade experiencing recruitment troubles. According to a recent report from Statistics Canada and the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum, Canada needs to attract over 167,000 new apprentices over the next five years just to keep pace with current demand. Signs aren’t looking good that will happen. In the first quarter of 2019 alone, there were over 60,000 job vacancies in Red Seal trades, an increase of 14 percent from a year earlier. So that’s the bad news. The good news is, there are a lot of smart people, in different trades, trying to solve this problem, or at least put a dent in it. And as more than a few of them have suggested, one good way to go about it could be to try to learn from each other. Sure, there are different reasons for labour shortages across different industries, but there are commonalities as well. And one thing most trades agree on; domestic recruitment efforts have to be focused on two groups in particular: young people and the under-
represented, including women and minorities. What follows are a few ideas from a variety of trades on how to do that.
GEN Z GROWS UP No matter the trade, one of the easiest ways to attract new blood, say some, is to target those who are just starting to think about a career path. And that’s no longer millennials, but Generation Z, i.e. those born between 1997 and 2012. According to research from Bloomberg, Gen Z will make up 32 per cent of the global population by the end of 2019. That’s more than any other generation, including millennials. Not every member of Gen Z is of working age yet, but thousands of them are graduating from Canadian high schools every year, and that means thousands are trying to figure out what they want to do with their lives. One enticing option could be the trades, say people like David Stillman, the co-founder of management consulting firm Gen Z Guru. He says the big thing to remember about this generation is that they came of age during the recession. “That means they’re a bit more realistic, a bit more cautious of the traditional path of going to college and going into massive debt. We know that 75 per cent of them feel that there is still a good way of getting an education other than going to college.” continued on page 30
28 | JANUARY 2020 | LANDSCAPE TRADES