CME report identifies skills shortages and business competitiveness as manufacturers’ top challenges

OTTAWA, November 7, 2018

CME issued today its biannual Management Issues Survey (MIS), a robust report that takes the pulse of the manufacturing community. The results of the study show that Canadian manufacturers are struggling to find workers with the right skills; and they are deeply concerned about Canada’s eroding business competitiveness.

Survey results show that a full 69 per cent of respondents face immediate labour and/or skills shortages, and three quarters expect shortages within the next five years. In both cases, shortages are most acute in skilled production fields. Manufacturers identify a lack of students choosing careers in manufacturing-related fields and, skillsets of workers not keeping up with new technologies as the reasons behind the shortages.

Additionally, more than half of the respondent felt that the federal government is not investing enough to help grow and build a strong manufacturing sector in Canada. Manufacturers are calling for a more competitive business tax regime and for enhanced supports for investing in machinery, equipment and technologies.

The 2018 MIS received 540 responses representing all regions of Canada. Many survey respondents – about 30 per cent of the total – worked for companies that had facilities in more than one province. The MIS provides valuable insight into the mindset and concerns of manufacturers – both in terms of their day-to-day struggles as well as their longer-term strategic goals.

About Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters

Since 1871, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters has been helping manufacturers grow at home and, compete around the world. Our focus is to ensure manufacturers are recognized as engines for growth in the economy, with Canada being acknowledged as both a global leader and innovator in advanced manufacturing, and a global leader in exporting. CME is a member-driven association that directly represents more than 2,500 leading companies who account for an estimated 82 per cent of manufacturing output and 90 per cent of Canada’s exports.


Stefi Proulx

Director of Communications & Branding

Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters