Automotive executives say postsecondary institutions are falling short when it comes to producing enough candidates to address the skilled-labour shortage plaguing the sector. Meanwhile, schools are up against rapidly changing technology and difficulty finding trade students with the required academic chops.
That leaves both sides looking for solutions.
Some courses are not updated to keep pace with rapidly evolving automotive technology, said David Adams, president of the Global Automakers of Canada (GAC). Some curricula are as much as 10 years old, he said.
“A little bit more attention needs to be paid to sectors like ours, where there is significant technological disruption going on, to ensure that when we are bringing people into the industry, they’re trained for the vehicles they’re going to be involved with and working with,” Adams said. The GAC lobbies on behalf of import automakers.
Schools should consider condensing programs over shorter periods “so that you can move people through the system faster, get them into the workforce,” said Roxanne Rose, Linamar Corp.’s global human resources vice-president.