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THE LEN LESSER REPORT  

THE LEN LESSER REPORT

 

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THE NEW REALITY OF MID SKILLED WORKERS

The area jobless rate is down but why are 1 in 4 London and area prime working 25-54 age group are still unemployed?

The times are a changing. Many middle-class Canadians in their prime working years are facing a dim future without permanent work. Part time mid skilled workers now face an unsettling reality of lower-paying temporary employment that has little or no financial security.

Retail stores used to be a reliable place of employment for many young women who never achieved a post-secondary education. Whole Foods has been bought by Amazon and in the future you will no
longer have to drive to your super market. You use your app to choose your grocery list on line, pay
with your credit card and voila the groceries will be delivered to your home address. "Quick and Click" and voila, no fuss and no muss.

Many former students who graduated from high school with Applied/College level programs with a "D" average who never ever thought that education was important find too late that their employment opportunities are very limited.

With little or no homework or assignments with few academic expectations it is easy to blend in with
like minded teens who thought that school was a drag.

In the past there was always plenty of brainless repetitive factory jobs; if you had a muscle or two you could be hired and earn a decent hourly salary. Robots have taken over these jobs and do it more efficiently and cheaper then unskilled workers. No complaints from the machines and no need for a coffee-break or vacation time.

What we find missing from the Canadian labour market is the medium-tier jobs such as office support and low skilled manufacturing/retail full time positions. These unskilled employees used to be able to work their way into jobs that did not require a lot of advanced education that in the past was able to provide a reasonable comfortable life style.

Being squeezed out of the middle class, that is quickly disappearing. we now have a generation of Canadians who have been left behind. The serge in the labour market may be booming but the growth
in employment is in the lower and higher end jobs-the middle is quickly disappearing.

According to Stats Canada numbers, " semi-skilled occupations are disappearing." " 300,000 manufacturing hourly paid workers lost their jobs in Ontario." Recently, Cami in Ingersoll Ontario, laid
off 600 hourly workers, and transferred the work to Mexico. For many it isnít that you lost your job. It is very hard to face the reality that your job no longer exists.

It is not all doom and gloom predictions future employment numbers. High skilled careers for
physicians, dentists, engineers, computer programmers and the skilled trades have increased by 15%.

Those who have good ability, a meaningful post secondary education, good work ethics, good willpower and the will to embrace positive change will be successful. Most of our children have at least the normal/above normal ability but what they too often lack is the positive work ethic and the willpower to succeed.

Temporary work schedules and minimum pay is the norm for too many young people who are not embracing the new reality in the work force." You can pay me now or you can pay me later" but later is often too late.

Please, folks take the time to read my column to your children. They are our future.

Len Lesser is an education/career counselor in Dorchester.

Len Lesser

Len Lesser posts a report every week

You can email Len at lenlesser@hotmail.com