Our Industry. Our Future.

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Our Industry. Our Future.

Posted on Tuesday 07/10/18

Labour Market Study Phase 2 is Complete

In recent years, convenience store employers from across the industry have reported experiencing labour shortages that are negatively impacting their businesses. The Western Convenience Stores Association, through the five phases of the Sector Labour Market Partnerships (SLMP) Program, is aiming to better understand and respond to these shortages.

The WCSA completed Phase 1 of the Program in March 2017. “Consultations with a project steering committee, employers, and other stakeholders during this phase revealed that recruiting and retaining appropriately skilled employees at the wage rate employers could afford was the most common labour market challenge facing the industry”, says Andrew Klukas, WCSA President.

Phase 2 of this program began in late 2017 and is now complete. Its purpose was to uncover additional insights into the issues affecting the labour market in the industry, to identify the issues underlying the labour market challenges the industry is facing, and to present potential options to address them.

This project included surveys of some 200 employers and well over 400 employees, along with 25 one-on-one interviews. The report includes recommendations in relation to:

• Youth engagement and retention

• Underrepresented populations

• Industry-wide recruitment support that responds to the diverse needs of different store types and locations

• Options to make the Temporary Foreign Worker Program more accessible

• Improving the employee value proposition

• Strategies to enhance employee engagement and productivity

• Understanding skill gaps and the development of training strategies that respond to these gaps

• Re-branding employment in the industry

• Awareness/knowledge around the potential benefits of automation.

“I would like to extend my thanks to the committee members and especially David Charron at Suncor for the energy he has put into this project,” says Mr. Klukas.

The next step is to secure funding to develop a comprehensive labour market strategy to address issues and recommendations identified to date. Phase 4 (likely in 2019 - 2020) will involve the implementation of identified solutions.