The Wood Manufacturing Council (WMC) is pleased to announce the launch of its project to conduct a new national Labour Market Information (LMI) Study for the Advanced Wood Processing Sector. The Council will work with sector stakeholders to produce a comprehensive LMI sector study to identify short- medium- and long-term Human Resources issues and challenges, which will serve as a basis for the development of a Human Resources strategy for the future of the sector. The project will also include a second component, which is the updating of five of the Council’s National Occupational Standards (NOS), to support standardization and labour mobility.

These two important initiatives are much needed updates of past, successful endeavours that were used by Canadian wood manufacturers, governments, equity groups and associations to understand the industry and its HR challenges and to work more effectively. Previous WMC LMI studies have been utilized extensively throughout the sector, and the updating of the standards for such occupations as finisher, wood machinery operator and supervisor will benefit employers, employees and educators alike.

Changing Business Environment

Iain Macdonald, WMC's board chair and managing director of the Centre for Advanced Wood Processing at the University of British Columbia points out "LMI and NOS resources are vital from a business perspective within the context of the rapidly growing demand for skilled workers". HR issues are once more near the top of woodworking employer needs and also for prospective employees who have a strong appetite to enter this growing and career-rich area of the economy. "Advanced wood processing offers a unique blend of sustainability, technology and opportunity and is a major contributor to Canada's international reputation for excellence and high performance wood products", Macdonald states. This project is funded by the Government of Canada’s Sectoral Initiatives Program.

Active since 2002, the WMC collaborates with employers, workers, educators, professional associations and governments to help implement human resources solutions that will ensure the success of the advanced wood processing (AWP) sector in Canada. The WMC's success is noteworthy given the difficult circumstances encountered during the recent cycle of reduced housing and building construction in Canada and in markets in the USA. Wood manufacturing in Canada is closely tied to construction and so the WMC and its members were challenged during the economic downturn by diminished budgets for "non-essential" human resource activities.

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Source: WMC

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