Calgary Economic Development is looking to bridge the gaps between employers and job seekers in Southern Alberta.

They’re currently hosting a “Talent Demand Employer Survey” for the Calgary Metropolitan Area, which includes Okotoks, High River, and Diamond Valley.

Jeanette Sutherland, Director of Workforce, Innovation, and Development with Calgary Economic Development, says the goal is to proactively identify the kinds of skill sets that are and will be needed in various business sectors.

“We’ve seen a lot of shifts over the years economically coming out of the pandemic, the acceleration for the demand of tech skills for the digital economy, we’re seeing more growth in construction projects that are requiring skilled trades workers… The needs of industry are changing. So, if the workforce doesn’t understand what those skills are that are needed, or that they can look at new careers in other sectors, then we’re not really doing ourselves much of a favour in creating an agile workforce.”

The results of this survey will be released later this summer and will inform their next steps.

“The information we receive helps to validate what workforce strategies we need to look at moving forward, whether we need to work in collaboration with training partners to create new trading programs relative to the needs of industry,” says Sutherland. “If employers are saying they need new senior-level skillsets then we know we need to focus on upscaling but also potentially attracting more talent to our region where there may be gaps. The more that we have an understanding of those critical gaps that are impacting a company’s growth and the quicker we do this, the better we’ll be set up to strengthen the economy for our whole region.”

The survey is part of a broader Talent Demand and Supply Gap Study. Later this year, they’ll be conducting a ‘Talent  Perceptions’ survey to get an idea of how job seekers perceive various industry sectors. 

Sutherland explains that many people might not be aware of how their skills could be put to use in certain industries.

“Individuals may not think of going into agriculture because they may be interested in tech and maybe they don't come from a farming background. Well, there are a lot of tech and finance opportunities in agriculture. Or maybe somebody feels they’re not represented within that sector. If we can help industry understand why individuals haven’t considered going into that sector, maybe we can create more opportunities for hiring and attraction to that sector.

The Talent Demand Employer Survey runs until June 21 and can be seen here.

The Radiothon is today.