Draft Occupational Standards Available for Review by Supply Chain Stakeholders
The CSCSC has developed 10 draft occupational standards, of which five are now available online for review by sector stakeholders and five will soon be available. (A third set of five standards is also in development.) Comments on the standards will be accepted until May 29, 2009, after which the standards will be revised based on feedback, reviewed by the project’s Working Group, and presented to the CSCSC Research Committee and Board for approval. The standards are expected to be finalized and ready for use in October 2009.
Occupational standards describe what a person in a particular occupation must know and be able to do to be considered “competent” at that occupation. Standards are used primarily in human-resources management. They serve, for example, as guidelines for developing job descriptions, for designing and delivering training for the occupation, and to assist employers to explain their expectations to the people working for them. They are used as reference points against which actual practice can be judged. They are also used by educational institutions in the development of curriculum. Generally, occupational standards are a written statement of:
The skills and abilities required to perform the job in a competent fashion;
The core knowledge required to perform the job in a competent fashion; and
The standards of ethical practice expected of practitioners in the occupation.
The CSCSC engaged the Canadian Standards Association (the CSA) to lead this occupational-standards-development project, which is unique in both its approach and format. While the norm for development of an individual occupational standard ranges from three to four years, the CSCSC’s Canadian supply chain occupational standards will have been developed concurrently in only 18 months, using a best-practices approach.
With the project’s Working Group, the CSA identified priority occupations – high-demand occupations or those that require an increased emphasis on training or skills development – from among the 26 NOC codes that identify occupations within the sector, then undertook a review of existing standards, occupational profiles developed by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, National Occupational Classification (NOC) codes and other sources to enable the development of seed documents for review by stakeholder focus groups across Canada. The “draft” documents currently available on the CSCSC’s website are those initial seed documents revised to reflect comments from focus-group participants.
The CSCSC’s draft standards, at an average of 8 to 12 pages in length, reflect industry’s desire for short, clear, simple and usable documents that outline key job tasks and essential knowledge and skills required by the occupation. The occupational standards have been designed for the potential future addition of information related, for example, to job descriptions and educational curriculum.
Upon completion of this project, the CSCSC will have developed 13 to 15 occupational standards, a fast-track process for the efficient development of occupational standards, and a list of priority actions for further work beyond this phase. A proposal has been submitted by the CSCSC to HRSDC for a second phase of this project, which would make possible the creation of a further 10 to 15 occupational standards for the supply chain sector.
Supply Chain Labour Market Information Updated: Will Enable Accurate Forecasting Down to the Local Level
The CSCSC has responded to the needs of stakeholders with an update of labour-market information (LMI) achieved through a process developed to ensure that an accurate picture of the sector’s human resources is consistently captured in the future.
In a sector study completed in 2005, stakeholders identified the need to collect and monitor LMI as a high-priority action item. As a first follow-up step, the CSCSC completed a phase I LMI project in 2007 to gather input from the sector about the types of LMI that were most required. Two further LMI-related projects resulted: a phase II project, through which LMI tools are being developed for use by stakeholders, and the LMI-update and NOC-awareness project through which labour-market data has been updated to reflect the current state of the sector.
The 2005 study used data from the 2001 Canadian Census and a ratio, developed by Industry Canada, applied to an aggregate of the total labour market for the 26 NOC (National Occupational Classification) codes considered to comprise the sector. Through its LMI-update project, led by RDA Global, the CSCSC has defined the ratio used in the sector study and applied it to recent Labour Force Survey data to establish current statistics for the sector. Based on recent data, the sector now employs 732,000 Canadians, up from the 701,880 people estimated to work in the supply chain in 2004.
The new LMI-update process will enable an understanding of trends, overall and by occupation, on a national, regional or local level, and provide an accurate baseline in terms of labour supply that firms and educators can use for forecasting purposes. On a larger scale, the data can also be used in addressing issues related to inter-provincial mobility and labour-market transitions, for example.
A second component of this project is aimed at boosting the use of NOC codes by the sector’s employers in their HR-management activities. Three information sessions will be held across Canada, as follows:
Moncton – Wednesday, March 11
Calgary – Wednesday, March 18
Mississauga – Thursday, March 19
The Government of Canada’s NOC system provides a foundation for improving HR practices in the supply chain sector. Although the system is used regularly by many people as they compile, analyze and communicate information about occupations, awareness of the system is still relatively low. The CSCSC’s information sessions will highlight the benefits and encourage the use of NOC codes, which can be used, for example, by employers to:
Write job descriptions
Develop performance measures and evaluation programs
Develop recruitment campaigns and retention strategies
Identify training requirements
To participate in one of these information sessions, register with Margie Stefanich, by calling 905-897-6700 or 1-866-616-3468 or emailing email@example.com.
CSCSC Membership: New Opportunity for Involvement The CSCSC now has three classes of members: associate members, full members and pillar associations. Through this new structure, individuals and organizations wanting to be involved in the Council's activities have a defined method to join and expand their participation in the efforts of the Council on behalf of all of the sector's stakeholders.
Membership in the Council at any level is free of charge.
Associate members are provided with access to all Council products and services, but have no voting rights in the Council. Individuals and organizations that are new to the Council join as associate members. At this level, they may participate in working groups or on committees, but are not eligible for membership on the Board of Directors. Any person or group that aspires to acquire voting rights or Board eligibility must first complete a year of associate membership, during which commitment to a Council activity or activities should be demonstrated. After a year at this level, an associate member may apply to become a full member.
Full members may vote at members meetings and are eligible to serve on the Council's Board of Directors.
Pillar associations have a special status with the Council. These are the five associations – APICS – The Association for Operations Management, CITT, the Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association, the Purchasing Management Association of Canada, and Supply Chain & Logistics Association Canada – that have been formative in the Council's development, committed to the idea of a supply chain sector council before the CSCSC existed. Each pillar association has a representative on the Board of Directors and full voting privileges.
If you would like to join the Council, contact Margie Stefanich, at 905-897-6700, 1-866-616-3468 or firstname.lastname@example.org, to receive a membership application form.
New Directors Join the Council's Board
The CSCSC welcomed four new individuals to the Board at its February 4 meeting in Ottawa. All four are replacement representatives taking over the responsibilities of departing directors. The new members are:
Fergus Groundwater – Export Development Canada
John Gauvreau – Government of Quebec
Flavia Iuston-Blair – Panalpina Inc., CIFFA’s representative on the Board
Susan Krausz – Humber College Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning, SCL’s representative on the Board
The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of HRSDC, Speaks at TASC General Meeting
On February 5, The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, spoke to attendees of The Alliance of Sector Council’s General Meeting in Ottawa. Following are portions of her presentation.
As a Minister who places a very high value on partnership, I recognize the importance of your role in bringing together business, labour and stakeholders. Given the immediate need to create opportunities for Canadian workers during this economic slowdown, I can’t think of a better audience to work with our Government’s Economic Action Plan.
Together, we share concerns about Canadian workers and skills issues. Collectively, we can explore solutions to this economic crisis to benefit our economy, and in the end, all Canadians.
Our Economic Action Plan was developed to help sustain Canadian jobs and help all Canadian businesses weather the current economic downturn and come out stronger than ever.
So what are we planning to do?
We are protecting jobs and supporting businesses in key sectors of our economy that are in difficulty. You know which ones I’m talking about – the forestry, manufacturing, tourism, agriculture, fisheries and automotive industries. We propose to help them find solutions.
To help meet this challenge, we are creating a two-year, $1-billion Community Adjustment Fund. This will support economic diversification in communities affected by the decline in their local industries.
But let’s remember that infrastructure forms the backbone of our future prosperity. So what action are we taking to improve it?
Under our Plan, we will be spending $7 billion over the next two years to launch one of the largest infrastructure projects in our country’s history. Why? Because when chosen carefully, infrastructure projects create jobs – in construction, engineering, science and technology and manufacturing. And this creates opportunities in other industries.
So we will build roads and bridges, public transit and border crossings, colleges and universities, and waste-water-treatment plants and recreation centres. We are focusing on projects that are ready to start construction now and will serve us for a long time to come.
And now, let’s turn to skills development and support for workers.
This is important for Canada’s productivity and competitiveness. Ensuring that our country has the best-educated, most-skilled and most-flexible workforce in the world is vital for our future. With the right training, people can get good jobs and have better opportunities for themselves, their families and their future.
To address the most pressing needs of workers affected by the current economic downtown, Canada’s Economic Action Plan is investing $8.3 billion for the Canada Skills and Transition Strategy. As part of the Strategy, we are proposing to increase funding to the provinces and territories so that more Canadians can have access to the training and skills upgrading that they need to land the jobs of the future.
Our proposed new Strategic Training and Transition Fund will also provide $500 million over two years. This will help meet the different training and support needs of workers who do not qualify for EI training, such as those who have been out of work for a prolonged period of time.
Our Plan also recognizes the particular challenges that Aboriginal people face. It proposes an additional investment of $100 million in the Aboriginal Skills and Employment Partnership Program to help Aboriginal Canadians to get the training that they need for good, skilled jobs. An extra $75 million has been set aside to create a new Aboriginal Skills and Training Strategic Investment Fund that will do even more.
These funds will strengthen partnerships between local service organizations and employers to make sure that training programs respond to market needs and gets results.
Another area of investment is the Targeted Initiative for Older Workers Program. We are increasing the program’s budget over three years, and expanding its reach.
We already have an Apprenticeship Incentive Grant to encourage more Canadians to get into the skilled trades. And we propose to build on this by adding a new grant for apprentices who successfully complete their apprenticeship training in a Red Seal trade. Apprentices would be eligible for an additional $2,000 per year under this grant.
This $40-million investment will boost worker mobility, as the Red Seal workers’ credentials are recognized in every province and territory of Canada.
To further support the trades, the Prime Minister and Premiers recently agreed to work together so that Canada can benefit from the experience of skilled new Canadians.
Our Government proposes $50 million over two years to help more newcomers obtain the certification that they need to get to work quickly once they get to Canada.
Of course, sector councils, too, have an important role in helping Canada become more competitive and productive. Canadians need skills and training to adapt to a changing global market. We recognize the strategic importance of Canada’s sector councils in making those partnerships work.
Sector councils bring all the key players – company owners, corporate leaders, labour, government, educators and individuals – together to create the conditions necessary for Canadian businesses to succeed. Canada’s 33 industry-led sector councils are one of this country’s competitive advantages.
Investments [by the Government of Canada and industry stakeholders] are producing impressive results through your work with occupational standards, career-development programs, and your online learning programs. These are notable achievements.
I am genuinely excited about the momentum that I see building all across this country. I look forward to working closely with The Alliance of Sector Councils. I intend to maintain an open and ongoing dialogue with your members.
These are times of unparalleled change – and challenge. These are, equally, times of exceptional opportunity. Our country’s success depends on all of us. We all need to do our part.
Business as Usual for Hamilton’s Canadian Tire Pit Stop
How Employing People With Disabilities has Boosted this Facility's Productivity
By Elaine Austin, Business Takes Action, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters
The Canadian Tire Pit Stop at 686 Queenston Road in Hamilton, Ontario, has been in business for 12 years. The Pit Stop has a gas station and propane filling area, and offers lube and oil changes. For the past three years, owner Ritchie Khan has created interest within Canadian Tire Corporation, as his facility's productivity has increased by 30 percent, his store rating has gone from a 48 average to 70, and today, his is one of the top three performing stores in Ontario.
Probably the first thoughts that popped into your mind as you read that first paragraph were "wow," and "how did he accomplish that?" Ritchie is a very caring and compassionate man, and his enthusiasm is contagious as he speaks about his staff, all of whom have disabilities of one kind or another.
I began our interview by asking Ritchie why he began to hire persons with disabilities and he replied that he has always had a different outlook towards employees. He looks at the person and his or her passion for working first and foremost, not at ability or disability. The majority of his staff are young and male, and had low self esteem when they were hired. The one thing they all have in common is that no one, until Ritchie, would give them an opportunity of employment to prove themselves. What he has gained in return, he boasts, are “loyalty, commitment, respect and dependability – principles you cannot put a dollar value on!” Absenteeism is rare, and his staff has gained self esteem, acceptance, dignity and independence.
Regardless of his disability – be it schizophrenia, a speech impediment, anger-management problems, a back ailment or drug addiction – each employee willingly arrives at work before his shift is scheduled to start; some arrive as much as three hours early. Co-workers have become like family and the Pit Stop like home away from home.
Ritchie knows before an interview even begins that a candidate has a disability of some kind, but he sees past it. He focuses on praising and recognizing his employees' every effort, big or small. Their accomplishments, devotion and gratitude continue to fuel Ritchie’s devotion to his staff. The one rule that all staff must adhere to is to be respectful and courteous to one another at all times. In Ritchie’s pit, no one is allowed to make disparaging comments about another team member or they will be reprimanded in his office immediately.
One of his employees was recently promoted to manager of the gas bar, and has experienced a doubling of his salary since he joined the company only three years ago. The management team continually teaches and trains all employees to be good sales people and to provide great customer service. In return, the team is tasked with doing their very best and guaranteeing a great job.
Ritchie could not have taken this route alone. He's had help from Brad Spencer and Brenda Silverthorne of PATH Employment Services, a not-for-profit Hamilton agency that assists candidates in obtaining suitable employment, selecting a career path and accessing skills training. They encourage all of their clients to focus on the abilities, rather than the disabilities, of potential candidates. From the beginning, PATH advised Ritchie that Mike and Ron (names have been changed) might not interview well, but they encouraged him to recognize what these two wanted to do, given the opportunity of employment.
Canadian Tire’s Pit Stop has provided on-the-job training and employment opportunities to persons with disabilities for some time now and will continue to do so in the future. Although this journey has been exciting, rewarding and successful, it can also be scary at times. Ritchie shared a story about one employee who accidentally drove a car through the garage door and ran away because he was scared that he would lose his job. Ritchie just smiles and laughs about the “incident,” after which he advised his employee that there would be no repercussions and invited him to return to work.
Why not consider hiring a person with a disability and share the benefits of employee loyalty and increased productivity? Persons with disabilities are qualified and work-ready and can bring value to your business today. After all, that is what every one of us wants – a chance to prove to ourselves that we can do a job and do it well.
Widening the Definition of 'We'
By Chris Irwin, MBA
In keeping with its mandate to “bring together partners,” the CSCSC, together with the Association for Canadian Community Colleges, spearheaded a gathering of self-identified stakeholders in training and certification related to supply chain. Like most “stakeholder” gatherings, the room included representatives from competing organizations. In this case, that meant representatives from “rival” colleges and institutions, as well as from bodies offering “competing” certifications. The potential value of such gatherings comes in identifying shared interests and in enabling better solutions.
My exposure to this sector is largely through such stakeholder gatherings. Cross-functional (or cross-associational) gatherings in “supply chain” often generate discussion around “what is supply chain, anyway?” The opportunity to clarify the function and value of the sector has the potential to unite the many stakeholders. All of a sudden, there is a pan-sector identity (e.g., in-group) whose job it is to convey that value proposition to non-sector (e.g., out-group) stakeholders, who include employers, job-seekers, students, their parents, other functional areas of the business, etc., etc. We all win when these “others” realize the strategic importance and potential of supply chain… and they win, too!
Interaction between competing forces also helps everyone, by fostering good-old differentiation. For colleges, associations and "others", this is positive – and necessary – because competitive markets don’t tolerate a “six-of-one” and “half-dozen-of-the-other” split for long. Contact and dialogue help to define core competencies and clear the way for collaboration that helps the sector overall.
As a related example, I worked in media sales where we had one main competitor. At an ad-agency function, I recall turning a corner and coming face-to-face with my “rival account manager” who was talking to our mutual client. Once our poor client realized that she could not avoid acknowledging us to each other, she betrayed the look of someone forced between former spouses from an acrimonious marriage. Shortly after I left that company, the “six” and “half-dozen” merged into one company. Strange how competition forces new ways of working.
It is very easy to pay lip service to collaboration and looking for “win-win” solutions to today’s complex problems. Examples are rarer in reality, but I came across one recently whereby rival conference organizers found they both targeted events in Western Canada that addressed the environmental implications of supply chain. Isn’t it fitting that the two are co-branding their events to spur discussion on the opportunities for supply chain and corporate social responsibility to deliver positive impact? Check out "Supply Chains and the Environment," to take place on May 25 and 26 in Calgary.
The lines between friends and enemies may be blurring. There is value to be had and created in stakeholder gatherings that help us look for intersecting interests. I guess it takes a sector council to foster that dialogue.
Chris Irwin works with organizations undergoing change to reduce interpersonal noise in cross-functional and stakeholder communications. He is on faculty at the Schulich School of Business, and teaches in PMAC’s Strategic Supply Chain Management Leadership Program. He blogs on related issues at www.microob.com and can be reached through that website.
The CSCSC has, once again, booked a booth at the National Job Fair & Training Expo, to take place this spring on March 31 and April 1 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. We have had strong support in our booth at recent shows from volunteers working in the supply chain sector, and hope to benefit from similar contributions this time around. Up to 10,000 visitors are expected at the event, which makes it an excellent venue to share information about opportunities in the supply chain.
If you can work a three-or-four-hour shift in the Council's booth, you'll definitely have an interesting time, help the Council and gain free access to the full event. Information will be provided to help you answer questions and direct visitors to relevant resources.
The economy and the environment are in crisis and are deeply intertwined. This conference will assist delegates to explore and understand the relationship and impact of supply chain logistics practices on the environment and the impact of the environment on supply chain logistics. Case studies offered by speakers will demonstrate how companies and/or individuals have created major shifts in business practices while having a positive impact on their environmental footprint.
This conference will explore issues that relate to climate change, energy conservation, waste reduction and the use of water, both in times of crisis and when we are conducting ‘business as usual’. For the purposes of this event, ecological, geopolitical and economic forces are included within an environmental framework.
Delegates will be encouraged to participate in discussions generated by the keynote and session speakers. The goal of the conference is to encourage individuals, public- and private-sector organizations and businesses to become part of a community of interest, to become better prepared and, therefore, more resilient in the face of climate change and in time of crisis.
The conference website includes the event program, information about speakers and registration details.
Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association, Air Dangerous Goods Training Vancouver Initial: February 24 to 26; recurrent: February 25 and 26 Calgary Initial: March 3 to 5; recurrent: March 4 and 5
Initial: April 21 to 23; recurrent: April 22 and 23 Toronto
Initial: April 28 to 30; recurrent: April 29 and 30 Montreal (en français)
Initial: April 28 to 30; recurrent: April 29 and 30
Niagara to GTA Corridor Planning and Environmental Assessment Study, Ontario Ministry of Transportation, Public Information Centres
February 26: Rockton, Ont.
March 3: Burlington, Ont.
The Niagara Institute and The Humphrey Group Inc., The Influential Leader Certificate, Three Courses
Speaking as a Leader® – March 26 and 27, Niagara-on-the-Lake
- OR -
Communication for the Senior Leader® – May 20-22, Ottawa, Ont.
- PLUS -
Strategic Negotiating – April 15 to 17, Niagara-on-the-Lake
- AND -
Influencing Skills for Leaders – February 25 to 27, Niagara-on-the-Lake; May 20 to 22, Niagara-on-the-Lake
Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association, Half-day International-trade Workshops Vancouver
March 3: Cargo Insurance (a.m.), Incoterms (p.m.) Toronto
March 31: Cargo Insurance (a.m.), Incoterms (p.m.)
April 1: Letters of Credit (a.m.), Risks Forwarders Face (p.m.) Montreal
April 21: Cargo Insurance (a.m.), Incoterms (p.m.)
April 22: Letters of Credit (a.m.), Risks Forwarders Face (p.m.)
Supply Chain & Logistics Association Canada and Canadian Industrial Transportation Association, Supply Chain Leadership – Raising the Bar, featuring the Transpo 2009 Exhibition, April 28 and 29, Vaughan, Ont.