Service delivery
May 7, 2012

Responding to a changing labour market

“Help wanted” has again become a common sight in windowsills and online job boards across Alberta, reversing employment woes for thousands. In 2011, the province, through it’s Alberta Works Program, delivered hundreds of work programs to help cash-strapped employers connect to skilled workers.

“Employers are coming to us asking for help to fill dozens, even hundreds, of open positions,” says Brenda Wadey, a business and industry liaison officer with the Alberta government. “We have moved our career services into the online world this year with two province-wide virtual job fairs, one of which attracted 12 employers and more than 1,300 job seekers.”

Joy Cooney, district manager for Canadian retailer Bentley, regularly partners with the province to fill an influx of new positions. Cooney says the province understands the company’s unique hiring needs and has connected her with a pool of skilled talent. 

“Alberta Human Services has really stepped up to help us with our hiring needs,” she says. “The labour market is getting tighter and tighter and the more avenues we have to fill our positions, the better. The hiring experience has been phenomenal.”

Wadey says requests like this are a far cry from the labour market needs of 2009. At the height of the recession, Business and Industry Liaisons (BIL) – initially tasked with helping employers meet labour force shortages and support hiring needs – had to turn its attention to businesses facing downsizing brought on by economic pressures.

Responding to 500 job cuts at a southern Alberta company, BIL manager Cheryl Olenick had to mobilize within a week to provide workforce adjustment sessions and a hiring event for the affected workers.   

“Overnight, the coin flipped. All of a sudden, we were in an employment shortage position and no longer a worker shortage position,” says Olenick. “It required extreme adaptability, but at the end of the day we were providing the right service at the right time.”

Steve MacDonald, deputy minister of Alberta Human Services, agrees that adaptability and responsiveness are the hallmarks of excellent service delivery. “To be effective and provide meaningful services to Albertans, we need to be responsive and continuously evaluating what our clients need, and deliver accordingly.”

Over the past year, Alberta has led the country in employment growth, adding nearly 100,000 jobs, more than four times the national rate of 1.1 percent. It has now regained all of the jobs it lost during the recession and is again facing the possibility of labour shortages. Alberta Human Services projects the province will be short 114,000 workers within a decade and is taking action to reduce the impact of anticipated labour shortages. 

In addition to ramping up hiring support for employers, the department is developing a Youth Workforce Strategy to engage younger workers and help them take advantage of exciting new career opportunities.

The Youth Workforce Strategy is part of the department’s 10-year labour force strategy, Building and Educating Tomorrow’s Workforce, which aims to attract more workers to Alberta and train Albertans for the careers that will be in demand in the future. A core element of the strategy is tapping into traditionally under-utilized pools of labour, including Aboriginals, immigrants, persons with disabilities, mature workers and youth. The department has already released a Mature Worker Action Plan and is currently developing strategies for Aboriginals and youth.

Alberta Human Services is also attracting more Albertans into high-demand occupations by publishing short-term and long-term labour market outlooks. The department recently released the Short Term Employment Forecast 2011-2013, spotlighting 64 occupations that will be in demand over the next two years, to attract more Albertans into these careers.

The Alberta government is also responding to increasing recruitment needs by hosting career discovery events that profile careers in expanding sectors like trades and technology, supply chain and logistics, hospitality, health care and more.

Albertans can also now use Facebook and Twitter to find job opportunities and job fairs, watch videos on resume and job-interview tips, post free job ads, and interact with Alberta government staff for a personalized service delivery experience. 

“As our client’s needs change, so will we,” says MacDonald. “Our response will include trying new and innovative approaches to fit the need.”

 

Briar McGinnis is a regional communications manager with Alberta Human Services in Calgary. Links to Alberta Works social media sites are available at http://employment.alberta.ca.

About this author

0 comments

There are no comments for this post yet.

Be the first to comment. Click here.

Service delivery
 
Whether you’re trying to decide on which brand of cereal to...
 
In this episode of CGE Radio, J. Richard Jones talks with...
 
From Executive Government to Crown Corporation to Public Traded Company. Today...
 
Earlier this year, the federal government kicked off an auction for...
 
In the show, J. Richard Jones talks with Colin Earp, Partner...
 
Leadership, service delivery, change management, performance measurement, big data, transparency, digital...
 
China’s Shenyang is traditionally an industrial city, but when work began...
 
In this episode of CGE Radio, J. Richard Jones talks with...
 
The Northern Federal Council (NFC) is a collaborative network of over...
 
We risk missing out on the potential “Artificial Intelligence” has to...
 
Tornado warnings broadcast a few weeks ago in Eastern Ontario and...
 
Everyone wants to change, become more efficient, and drive better value...
 
Artificial Intelligence is creating a great stir across many industries today....
 
In the spring of 2018, the Auditor General of Canada, Michael...
 
By June 2017, the Public Engagement Team at the Privy Council...
 
Everyone wants to change, become more efficient, and drive better value...
 
In July 2017, a local company unveiled a “virtual statue” on...
 
In 2016, the community of Fort McMurray, Alberta, located in the...
 
In this episode of CGE Radio, J. Richard Jones speaks with...
 
We are excited to share with you the latest issue of...
 
Welcome to the era of Smart Cities where connectivity will drive...
 
In this episode, J. Richard Jones sits down with Martin Joyce,...
 
Over half a billion children live in countries that are falling...
 
According to a recent McKinsey study there is a potential for...
 
As Executive Director of the UK’s Government Digital Service, Mike Bracken...
 
Having a clear definition of success is one of the key...
 
Public servants are responsible for providing advice and support to the...
 
Public sector managers from all levels of government across Canada increasingly...
 
With businesses and government agencies increasingly operating in a highly information-based...
 
Blockchain. There’s probably no other technology trend in recent years that...
 
Rankings of public sector entities has been big trend for quite...
 
In March, the Canada Revenue Agency’s website was shut down by...
 
The latest issue of Canadian Government Executive is currently available. Some...
 
The association representing more than 42,000 physicians and medical students in...
 
As Toronto’s city staff prepares top release proposed regulations for taxis...
 
In the face of mounting public support for supervised injection sites,...
 
It appears it was not just the Mounties that were affected...
 
Last year, the Canada Revenue Agency rolled out a pilot program...
 
There’s a lot of noise out there about digital government. Yet...
 
Somewhat surprisingly in light of ongoing budget constraints at all levels...
 
commentEmail””:””thomk@rogers.com”” Related posts: Digital Government Can Give Real...
 
There are many reasons why governments should move to a citizen...
 
Governments around the world are integrating services as a means of...
 
The New Zealand government and public service went through major reforms...
 
The government of Langford, British Columbia, received last week the 2014...
 
Since 1998, the Institute for Citizen-Centred Service has been conducting Citizens...
 
Labour intensive with slow response times, limited data and obsolete technology:...
 
As the only official bilingual province, with a third of its...
 
The government of Nova Scotia has introduced a Seniors Navigators Program,...
 
Like all provinces, Nova Scotia is grappling with transforming the way...
 
Yesterday the Globe and Mail reported that the federal government hopes...
 
The drive to contain costs within the public sector will likely...
 
ServiceOntario has helped change the way the Ontario government serves people...
 
In 2012, two major initiatives changed the face of Ontario’s Student...
 
On December 6, Ontario Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak released a...
 
There is little doubt that a crisis of relevance has hit...
 
The PrimesChris McGoffJohn Wiley, 241 pages, $35.95 As the World Bank...
 
Long, long ago when the world and government service delivery concepts...
 
Government citizen-centred service delivery is undergoing a re-think. The growing number...
 
More than 15 years ago, the Ontario government implemented a model...
 
The P3 model is different from traditional procurement: it transfers significant...
 
For First Nations, a child’s birth must be registered before parents...
 
That Alberta Works office reflects a philosophical shift that has transformed...
 
On March 29th, the federal government brought down one of the...
 
CGE Vol.13 No.5 May 2007 In late 2004, the Ontario Public...
 
CGE Vol.13 No.4 April 2007 Western countries and institutions have for...
 
CGE Vol.13 No.5 May 2007 Ontario is striving to achieve its...
 
By 2017, visible minorities will make up almost 29 percent of...
 
For leaders, the biggest challenge to improving public sector service delivery...
 
The Public Sector Service Delivery Council (PSSDC) is a coalition of...
 
Quote of the week “‘Deliverology’ challenged government to be both clear...
 
Quote of the week “We expected, and found, a negative depiction...
 
Quote of the week “…governments bear responsibility for producing public value.”...
 
Essentially, the Office asked in its audit whether the Australian Public...
 
Les services généraux ou ministériels ont souvent du mal, surtout dans...
 
Corporate services branches, particularly in small organizations, often have difficulty balancing...
 
Government services around the world face the following challenge: how to...
 
The Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment is in the midst of significant...
 
A recent study conducted in the Ontario public service elaborates our...
 
As the Internet has grown and evolved, so too has the...
 
While most North Americans today have a limited experience with trains,...
 
Leadership of public sector organizations is one of Canada’s most important...
 
La Commonwealth Association of Public Administration and Management (CAPAM) a décerné...
 
Le Groupe d’experts indépendant sur les subventions et contributions prône un...
 
CGE Vol.13 No.9 November 2007 There is a resurgence of quality...
 
CGE Vol.13 No.8 October 2007 Ron McKerlie is Ontario’s Corporate Chief...
 
CGE Vol.13 No.7 September 2007 Governments and their public service organizations...
 
The past decade has given rise to tremendous experimentation in public...
 
« Les différents intervenants au Canada n’arrivent tout simplement pas à bien...
 
The Civil Service Commission was created in September 1908 to eradicate...
 
"Oh, the land of cloudless days," Willie Nelson croons in one...
 
À vos yeux, quels sont les plus grands défis de l’IAPC?...
 
Quand Willie Nelson vante les charmes d’une contrée sans nuages dans...
 
The tragedy of the E. coli outbreak in Walkerton in 2000...
 
“Help wanted” has again become a common sight in windowsills and...
 
Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Tourism, Parks, Culture and Sport is poised to...
 
A short 18 months ago, the Ontario Public Service made its...
 
According to the people who know it best – its residents...
 
La prestation de services à guichet unique fait maintenant partie intégrante...
 
This article considers emerging and possible future developments through four windows...
 
Some title Some author
Some excerpt
Whether you’re trying to decide on which brand of cereal to...