Ep 29. Skilled Worker & Trades Shortage and Job Security with Tradesmen International

Ep 28. R&D Incentives & Innovation Superclusters for Canadian Businesses with KPMG
June 14, 2019
Ep 30. Harvesting & Processing Hemp on an Industrial Scale
July 22, 2019

Ep 29. Skilled Worker & Trades Shortage and Job Security with Tradesmen International

Tradesmen International finds itself as a unique part of the workforce. They provide companies with thousands of trade workers across the United States and Canada. David LeBlanc is GM of their Canadian office and offers insight into the business model and steps companies can take to maximize their workforce productivity and efficiency.  

Trades are notoriously cyclical and short term contracts to complete projects are the norm. When the trade workers are in high demand the result is a shortage of skilled labour and when markets dry up skilled workers are often left with few options for employment. The factors leading to the boom and bust cycles range all the way from global economic fluctuations, product demand, and local governments delaying permits for projects. David pointed out another major factor, the employers themselves. 

Companies who hire for the short term contracts but promote the job as full time often leave an employee out to dry when one project is completed and the next project is not ready to start. They also end up having specialized workers doing a broader range of tasks which then lowers efficiency at a premium cost. Tradesmen International is able to help companies avoid these issues when they become the employer’s labour consultant and can match up the appropriate trades with appropriate stages of the project.

Where this is especially powerful is if Tradesmen International is part of the bidding process for new projects. Retaining hundreds more employees on hand than the average employer they can structure out every trade and cost more accurately and minimize the company’s risk of going over budget. David points out that his team’s job is to help the employer understand overall cost savings. An employer may be able to find one trade for cheaper, but then if they are short labour and that employee ends up doing a job below their pay grade, the employer is now overpaying. Better to send them back to Tradesmen International and get the lower paid trade and proper market value.

Tradesmen International serves industries that include construction, manufacturing, power, heavy industry, mining, and skilled workers. Since 1992 when Joseph O. Wesley, an electrical contractor from Northeast Ohio, recognized first-hand the vast need for a new construction staffing paradigm to deliver superior construction labour to the contractor’s workforce they have expanded to 200 offices in the United States and now have an office in Canada which David hopes will increase to eight or nine. Labour is always a major cost on any project and efficiency to maximize profits is always the goal. The type of service Tradesmen International provides leads to the question… Do we truly have a labour shortage for skilled workers and trades or do we have an efficiency shortage that leads to employment volatility? 

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