This report continues research initiated in March 2020 dealing with labour market issues. However, given the increasing focus on skills shortages, the focus of this survey was on this specific issue. New questions addressing this issue were developed.
Between n March 21st to April 8th, 2023., an online survey was completed by businesses within Alberta. In all, 482 employers completed the survey which was administered on the Alida platform by the Alberta Chambers of Commerce to members and other affiliated organizations. In addition, 322 employers agreed to answer a secondary set of follow up questions.
Skills upgrading/acquisition is important to almost all organizations, with half (53%) saying it is ‘very’ important; with difficulty retaining trained staff and limited budget being the two main upgrading/acquisition barriers.
Employers use a variety of approaches to skills upgrading/acquisition, with on the job training being the most common (88%).
Among those with no training/skills upgrading budget, not being able to afford to budget (42%) is the most frequently cited reason.
The biggest barrier to more skills training is the difficulty of both finding those with the basic skills needed (33%) and finding those who are willing to be trained (23%).
There is a good deal of agreement among the respondents about which skills are hardest to find. Problem solving (54%) and commitment to quality (42%) are the top people skills most often cited, while analytical thinking (49%) and industry-specific skills (46%) were most frequently cited among technical skills.
Alberta employers continue to view the long-term future of the province in highly positive terms. Those saying they are ‘very’ positive has increased by five per cent to eighteen per cent since November 2022, with sixty-nine per cent reporting a positive outlook – the highest since the ACC network began tracking this data in June of 2019
Among those that employ the occupation, when asked to identify the single most difficult occupation to hire, craft related trades (60%), service and sales (53%), and professional (48%) are cited most frequently.