For several years, people have been seeing headlines about the decline of manufacturing. While many perceive that manufacturing has been in decline in Ontario, that's not necessarily the case in all areas. Many with advanced manufacturing needs are growing. In fact, there is a shortage of CNC Machinists to meet the needs of Ontario manufacturers.
On New Year's Day, the National Post ran a story "Looking for a new job in 2015? Advanced manufacturing is hiring". Reporter Mary Teresa Bitti took a closer look at how manufacturing is actually doing in Ontario and offers a quick state of the industry look at nuclear, aerospace and tool/machine manufacturing. She spoke with the heads of the four founding industry associations (who are behind the creation of the Ontario Manufacturing Learning Consortium) and also profiles some of the growing companies in each sector.
It's a dynamic industry and people might be surprised by what they learn. Read the full National Post story here >>
Greg Wood of Mississauga-based Cyclone Manufacturing was featured in a close-up look by the Globe and Mail on Nov. 16th that looked at the Ontario Manufacturing Learning Consortium’s (OMLC) CNC Machinist Learning Program. The university educated 25-year old had been working in retail selling tools, but didn’t know what to do in terms of a career. Many of his friends are still looking for work retail but didn’t have part-time positions. Thanks to the training program, Greg believes he’s found his career focus. As Greg notes in the story “it’s a great opportunity to be paid to learn”
The article brings to life the challenges many young people face in finding full-time employment in landing fulltime jobs at the very same time that many Ontario manufacturers can’t find enough qualified people to work as CNC machinists. So industry has reached out to unemployed youth and launched a hiring and training program that is very different from conventional approaches.
The Globe and Mail highlights how Ontario manufacturers are turning to youth to solve a skills shortage and examines the process involved to find youth, screen them, hire some and pay them to be trained as CNC Machinists. It’s a different approach that Bank of Montreal vice-chairman Kevin Lynch notes is the kind of model that he thinks Canada should emulate.
Group estimates more than 700 CNC Machinists required in near term; reaching out to youth
TORONTO, November 19, 2014 - Four manufacturing organizations have banded together to actively hire and train unemployed/underemployed youth to help their industry address a critical shortage of CNC Machinists. Facing an immediate need for 270 CNC machinists now and for 700 in the next two years, they formed the Ontario Manufacturing Learning Consortium (OMLC) and launched an industry-led hiring and training initiative called the CNC Machinist (Level 1) Selection and Learning Program. The Ontario government has selected this program for funding under the Youth Skills Connections Program.
Companies within the aerospace, tool/die mould, nuclear and manufacturing sectors expressed frustrations with the tremendous challenges they faced finding and hiring qualified CNC machinists. They expressed those frustrations to their industry associations -- the Ontario Aerospace Council (OAC), the Canadian Tooling & Machining Association (CTMA), the Organization of Canadian Nuclear Industries (OCI) and Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (CME) – which led to the formation of the OMLC.
Rather than looking to others for solutions, the industry has decided to try a dramatically different approach – launching a “by industry, for industry” learning program.