Sector Studies

DWA executive director Heather McMillan completes fellowship

Leave a Comment

DWA executive director Heather McMillan proudly displays her fellowship certificate with colleague Philip Johnson.

After a year of hard work at the Metcalfe Foundation’s Toronto Sector Skills Academy, the DWA’s executive director Heather McMillan can now add another title to her designation — Fellow.

McMillan completed the 10-month fellowship recently. The leadership program was a first of its kind in Canada.

Her thesis was on employer engagement. She worked with a committee of other Metcalf Fellows to map service provision for employers, educators from both secondary and post secondary, Employment Ontario Service Providers, Ontario Works and other community-based service providers to provide information and insight into planning a career ladder for those furthest from the labour market.

“It was an incredible amount of work but an incredible amount of fun,” McMillan said. “The 25 other fellows are leaders in their area of specialization and the connections and opportunities to collaborate will continue long after the 10-month program.”

As a result of the fellowship, McMillan will join the french workforce planning board headed by another Metcalf fellow.


DWA launches its 2016 Durham Under 30 Survey

Leave a Comment


youth for surveyLarge

In response to a steepening youth unemployment rate in the Oshawa Oshawa Census Metropolitan Area (CMA), the Durham Workforce Authority is launching its Durham Under 30 Survey.

Several community consultations with service providers, the Boys and Girls Club of Durham Region, Family Court Clinic, E-Camp Mentoring, UpNext Ajax team, and the planning team for Oshawa’s 3 Point Plan for Youth Employment indicated  existing labour market base indicators did not identify skills gaps and service needs for the 15-29 population.

This isn’t the first time such a survey has been taken. In 2013 the DWA conducted its first survey of Durham youth.  The survey results were used to better understand local organization programming needs.

The Durham Under 30 Survey includes an assessment of five of the nine federally identified essential skills. These results can be compared against the LEPC Employer Survey to contrast the essential skill levels of youth against the essential skills.

In May 2016, youth unemployment (15-24 years old) in Oshawa Census Metropolitan Area (CMA), which includes Oshawa, Whitby and Clarington was 13.7 per cent compared to the same CMA population of 25-44 with an unemployment rate of 4.7 per cent.

According to Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey, the Oshawa Census Metropolitan Area has had one of the highest youth unemployment rates.

Further, the 2011 National Household Survey (NHS) shows 40 per cent of youth are employed in one of 10 occupations, most of which are entry level occupations with limited opportunity for growth. In order to address an aging workforce, Durham Region needs to attract and retain youth populations.

Results compiled from the survey’s data helps to inform local employers and educational institutions in making better employment, training and program planning decisions. It also provides just-in-time local labour market information that is more detailed than data obtained through secondary sources allowing employers, Employment Ontario service providers and community service organizations to better serve Durham Region youth’s unique service needs.

Our goals for the 2016 Durham Under 30 Survey

•    Increase global response rates from 800 to 1,000 completed surveys.
•    Increase response rates of 20-24 year olds from 86 respondents to 120 respondents.
•    Share survey results through four community presentations. This will provide an 80 per cent increase in understanding of youth service needs and labour force attachment.

The Durham Under 30 Survey will deepen the understanding of the under 30 population and allow community organizations, educational institutions and employers to adjust programs and services offered. In addition, the survey will allow for more wholesome discussions about systemic youth unemployment and under-employment.

Previous survey results have been shared with the broader community, in both raw data responses and presentation reports via the Employment Ontario Service Providers meetings, the Literacy Service Coordination meetings, Local Diversity and Immigration Partnership Council, the Durham District School Board, the Durham Catholic District School Board and community based service providers outside the Employment Ontario network.

The survey results have been used to initiate community projects such as the City of Oshawa’s 3 Point Plan for Youth Employment and Hope, the Town of Ajax’s Up Next Ajax initiative, and a youth employment grant for Ajax Library.

Survey participants can fill out the survey one line with an option to fill out a ballot to win one of several prizes.  The prizes will be drawn once the survey closes in December.

To fill out the survey, click here:

Durham Region Construction Sector

Leave a Comment

In 2012, the Durham Workforce Authority (DWA) in partnership with through Millier Dickinson Blais delivered Labour Market Development Strategies for Durham’s Construction Sector. This sector study seeks to develop a strategic direction for actions supporting labour force demands to position the sector to respond to opportunities and prepare for challenges.

This report examines in detail the construction sector which has been specifically defined as the construction of buildings, heavy and civil engineering and specialty trade contractors. In addition to direct construction industries, the report also examines related support industries in Durham Region defined as oil and gas extraction; utilities; rail transportation; pipeline transportation; telecommunications; credit intermediation and related activitiesreal estate; and professional, scientific and technical services.

The construction sector study was completed through in person key informant interviews with 16 industry stakeholders, completion of an online survey and analysis of demographic and labour market data. This report examines common occupations in the construction sector as well as the support industries by educational attainment levels, employment and skill requirements and gender and age characteristics. Further, the size of the business community for the core construction sector and support industries is also evaluated.

Key findings in this report include:

  • The Construction Sector Council of Canada (CSC) predicts that all construction industries, residential and non-residential, will be in growth mode post-2014
  • In 2006, there were an estimated 23,085 jobs in the core construction and support industries in Durham Region
  • Of the 4,469 core construction businesses in Durham Region as of June 2011, 66% were specialty trade contractors
  • Over 7,500 businesses are engaged in support industries in Durham Region with 62% of the total classified under professional, scientific and technical services

Through key informant interviews, the online survey and data analysis the following exemplify some of the challenges facing the construction sector and its supporting industries:

  • Existing policies related to the employer to apprentice ratio
  • Limited funding grants
  • Labour market demographics
  • Large number of small to medium sized companies (SME’s) in Durham Region
  • Education attainment levels

This sector study defines key themes in the core construction sector and supporting industries, and develops labour market development strategies and associated recommended actions to ensure the sustainability and success of the core construction and supporting industries. The three labour market development strategies include:

  • Support the sector to increase its economic value and strengths
  • Promote appropriate training and learning opportunities that best position labour force groups to achieve successful employment within the sector
  • Promote the construction sector as a viable and exciting option with a multitude of employment streams

The labour market development strategies and associated recommended actions require a commitment from the DWA and as well as partner construction sector organizations, government, educational institutions and the business community. Through partnerships, Durham Region will be able to best serve the needs of the core construction and supporting industries to ensure their continued success and sustainability on a local level.

Construction Report 2012