At this week's member discussion, we talked about the challenge that employers are facing to fill their current job openings as they compete with workers' alternative to stay at home. Safety and access to safe and affordable childcare appear to be the biggest hurdle for those who are hesitant to go back to work, regardless of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) payments. There is some talk that the CERB could be extended.
During our discussion, members shared how they are helping employers navigate these challenging labour market conditions. Some are involved in their community's "shop local" initiatives, some are helping employers to address job seeker concerns about safety in job postings, some are promoting wage subsidy programs, and some using community stations to advertise available job postings in addition to using social media. The problem remains, however, that while the obstacles to activating the local workforce are in effect, local employers may continue to have difficulty filling positions.
Crowdsourcing a Solution
ASPECT members are the experts in their communities and have connections to the entire landscape of the local labour market. This is your opportunity to put your policy development hat on and brainstorm ideas to tweak policy so that we can get workers taking advantage of the opportunities available. At one of our previous member discussions, someone mentioned a question that they would expect to hear from interviewers in the future, "what did you do during the pandemic?" It would be nice if job seekers had a good response.
If you have a brilliant "silver-bullet" idea or even just some nudges to an existing policy that would help the current situation, please send it to me
. This is a difficult problem, but I'm confident that the wisdom of the ASPECT crowd will prevail!