The Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal

Labour: a challenge for an innovative manufacturing sector

The manufacturing sector is changing. After decades of offshoring, manufacturing companies are choosing to operate in Western countries, often even in major urban centres. The possibilities offered by automation, 3D printing, digital applications and megadata have allowed the industry to reinvent itself. It is now driven by leading-edge talent, innovation and the creation of high-value-added products. We are entering the heart of the fourth industrial revolution.

But competition is stiff to attract labour 4.0 from the fields of cloud computing, robotics and the Internet of things… and there’s not enough to go around! This is on top of the scarcity of labour resulting from an aging population. So how will Québec manufacturers overcome these hurdles?

To succeed, they need to find solutions to attract and retain specialized labour.

Talent workshop: businesses mobilize to address labour issues

Brainstorming on labour issues in the manufacturing sector was the goal of a workshop – supported by Emploi-Québec – held April 7 as part of the Strategic Forum on innovative manufacturing organized by the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal and Investissement Québec. Over 50 players from the industry and the private, public and association sectors were on hand.

During a morning filled with discussion, participants were encouraged to present potential solutions to help the manufacturing sector adapt employee recruitment and retention practices and business culture to labour 4.0 requirements.

Read the report

Based on the discussions, a section was also put together on the topic on the Les Affaires website.

We encourage you to read the six articles (in French only):

  1. Des cerveaux pour rendre nos usines intelligentes (brains for creating intelligent plants) 2.  
  2. De nouvelles compétences pour garder une longueur d’avance (new skills to stay one step ahead) 
  3. Comment le secteur manufacturier étanchera-t-il sa soif de talents? (how will the manufacturing sector quench its thirst for talent?) 
  4. Comment Cascades a transformé ses employés en coachs (how Cascades made its employees coaches) 
  5. Les meilleures pratiques pour former ses employés, selon Stroma (Stroma’s best practices for training employees) 
  6. Comment adapter ses pratiques RH à un environnement en changement (how to adapt HR practices to a changing environment)