- Hundreds of jobs are expected to be created in Winnipeg due to a furniture company’s expansion, but experts say it’s currently difficult to find qualified workers.
- Many businesses, according to Davidson, are having trouble finding employees, with multiple companies bidding on the same employee.
- Immigration fell by about a third during the pandemic, and the province wants to increase it again.
Hundreds of jobs are predicted to be created in Winnipeg due to a furniture company’s expansion, but experts suggest finding qualified workers is currently difficult.
Palliser Furniture is expanding its manufacturing operations in North America, including a 130,000-square-foot facility in Winnipeg.
According to Peter Tielman, the company’s president and CEO, the decision was influenced by tariffs imposed on overseas furniture last year and a surge in sales during the pandemic.
“In some ways, people were staying at home, as well as I guess there was less competition for disposable income, and also they were willing to invest in their homes, so the home industry benefited,” Tielman stated.
The new expansion will start creating about 400 jobs in Mexico as well as 300 jobs in Winnipeg; however, the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce expects it to be difficult to fill them.
“The challenges are out there if you’re looking for highly skilled employees who meet a specific set of criteria. There’s no doubt about it; it’s having a significant impact on small and medium-sized businesses. “According to Chuck Davidson, the president as well as CEO of the chamber,
According to Davidson, many businesses are having difficulty finding employees, with multiple companies bidding on the same employee.
One solution proposed by the chamber is for government and educational institutions to collaborate in recruiting new talent.
“These industries that are looking, I believe we need to do a better job in terms of training young people as well as new people to enter some of these workforces,” Davidson said.
Increased immigration is another solution suggested by the chamber.
According to provincial data, immigration fell by about a third during the pandemic, and the province wants to increase it again.
Former federal minister Lloyd Axworthy, the co-chair of Manitoba’s new Immigration Advisory Council, said the province is looking for new ways to attract people like international students.
“Some of them want to stay here now and work and then use their skills against merely adds to our general ability to have people working with good incomes while maintaining a growingly older population,” Axworthy explained.
“Immigration has always been a source of income for us,” Axworthy added. “I know that when I was minister, one of the major influxes of workers into Manitoba came from the Philippines, both for the textile industry and home care.”
According to Axworthy, the Immigration Advisory Council is currently focused on the Ukrainian refugee situation.
According to Tielman, Palliser Furniture is working with the government to re-implement old newcomer employee programs.
“We hire many first-generation immigrants, and we’re hoping that those programs will get back on track soon,” he said. “In the meantime, we’ve been fortunate that we’ve been able to fill the openings we’ve had so far.”
Construction on the growth is predicted to wrap up this summer, and Tielman anticipates reaching full capacity by the end of the year.
Source: CTV News
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