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Labour Market Study Highlights Opportunities in the Grande Prairie-Greenview Area

Labour Market Study Highlights Opportunities in the Grande Prairie-Greenview Area

NEWS RELEASE

Labour Market Study Highlights Opportunities in the Grande Prairie-Greenview Area

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Findings from a regional labour market study providing an in-depth understanding of labour market conditions and identifying current and future gaps in skills, training and workforce development were released today. The study covered an area comprised of the City of Grande Prairie, County of Grande Prairie, MD of Greenview and surrounding communities.

The Regional Labour Market Needs Assessment was led by the Grande Prairie & District Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the City, County, Greenview, and Alberta Labour and Immigration. The partners will use this critical study to further support and plan for a strong and balanced labour force that will sustain current and future economic growth.

Key findings reveal that top qualifications in demand across the region are licensed practical nurse; hydrogen sulphide training; professional engineer; commercial driver’s license; certified forklift operator; and certified financial planner. Skills in highest demand are communication; customer service; driving; sales/merchandising; management and operations; and mechanics.

Over 700 stakeholders participated in the study. Surveys gathered the perspectives and experiences of employers, employees and job seekers. One-on-one telephone interviews were conducted with businesses; Grande Prairie Regional College; employment service agencies; community agencies; and Indigenous public administration and agencies.

Nearly 85 percent of job seekers and employees say they would like to gain new skills or retrain, highlighting the importance of accessible and affordable education. Of the employers surveyed, 75 percent have offered training internally and 70 percent have hired an external organization, indicating employers are invested in skills development.

Other study findings include:

· Over the next 5 years, the region is expected to grow by 8 percent.

· Between March 2019 to March 2020, there were 18,159 job postings in the City, County, Greenview and surrounding communities.

· The region’s fastest-growing business sectors are finance and insurance; healthcare and social assistance; information and cultural industries; arts, entertainment and recreation; real estate rentals and leasing; and utilities.

· The region has higher levels of self-employed entrepreneurs compared to Alberta.

· Women, youth & Indigenous persons have the largest employment gaps.

· Income levels are higher in the region, compared to Alberta.

Project partners and the Grande Prairie Regional College are now ready to turn the labour market data into action. Guided by McSweeney & Associates, a regional workforce development strategic action plan is underway. The plan will map out best practices to meet employment demands, and address training needs, skills gaps and workforce development in the region.

The Regional Labour Market Needs Assessment was funded in part by an Alberta Labour and Immigration Labour Market Partnerships (LMP) grant, along with financial contributions from project partners.

To view the Executive Summary and to stay updated on the project, visit www.grandeprairiechamber.com.

Quotes:

Larry Gibson, Chamber of Commerce Board Chair

"Strong partnerships, community engagement, and support from Alberta Labour and Immigration have played a key role in the project’s success. We now have a more accurate picture of what’s happening in the local labour market so we can focus our efforts to create a blueprint for sustainable economic growth in the region."

Reeve Leanne Beaupre, County of Grande Prairie 

"I want to extend our appreciation to the Grande Prairie & District Chamber of Commerce for spearheading this project and to our municipal partners, with support from Alberta Labour and Immigration, for joining forces with us in the initiative. The findings are timely as we look beyond the pandemic to rebuild and strengthen the regional economy. This report highlights qualifications and skills in demand, key gaps and opportunities for developing the workforce, as well as diversified investment strategies and service delivery alternatives. I look forward to seeing the action plan unfold."

Reeve Dale Smith, Municipal District of Greenview 

"This project is an excellent start to identifying the needs of the regional labour market. Greenview is pleased to collaborate with our partners to develop a strategy to build a regional labour force that closes the gaps in skills and training and focuses on workplace growth to establish a stronger, more diverse economy."

Mayor Jackie Clayton, City of Grande Prairie

"Understanding the labour market is essential for economic growth and a strong workforce that benefits both job seekers and job creators. This long-awaited study provides businesses, investors, and residents access to data about the industries and skills in demand regionally. We look forward to collaborating on the next phases of this project to build a stronger workforce that helps drive our economic growth."


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