The good news is expansion plans are the main reason some local companies need to hire new employees in 2017.
The bad news is many of these companies not only have trouble finding local residents with the right level of education, they also have difficulty finding candidates with the intangible “soft skills” to professionally interact with fellow employees and the public.
These findings are among the data mined from an EmployerOne survey of 198 local organizations conducted by the Chatham-Kent Workforce Planning Board (CKWFPB) that is used to identify hiring patterns, challenges, concerns and successes in the current workforce.
While education is key to landing many quality jobs, the survey, released on Wednesday, found the top five in-demand job skills local employers were looking for in 2016 included:
– work ethic, dedication, dependability;
– self-motivated, work independently;
– teamwork, interpersonal;
– customer service;
– communication, both written and oral.
“What we are hearing and what we are focusing on this year is soft skills training,” said workforce planning board project manager Kristy Jacobs.
“A lot of time you hear you can’t teach soft skills. But you know what? You can,” she said.
Jacobs said the workforce planning board has purchased a software program from a Colorado company that is being adapted with plans to launch in the fall. She people who achieve a 90 per cent in the course that will be offered will receive a certificate that shows they have a proficiency in these soft skills.
“We’re hoping it’s going to open the doors to some of those new folks entering into the job market, who maybe don’t…
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