News briefs

Mining industry needs 80,000 workers; Canadian companies recruit in Philippines; Ford gives bonuses to boost morale; Ford gives bonuses to boost morale; Help older workers stay on the job: Dodge; TD urges government to consider global warming tax; Miners told to improve safety: Nearly half of Canadians invest in RRSPs: IBM gives employees financial advice: Ontario faces teacher overload
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|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 03/25/2007

Mining industry needs 80,000 workers

Toronto — The federal government has pledged $2.5 million to help the mining industry deal with its HR crisis, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development Monte Solberg announced at the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada convention. The industry estimates it will need to fill 80,000 jobs over the next 10 years. The funding will be used to send mentors to schools and encourage students to enter the field as well as in a program to target under-utilized groups including women, older workers, new immigrants and Aboriginals.

Canadian companies recruit in Philippines

Manila, Philippines — Tim Hortons has begun recruiting workers in the Philippines, according to that country’s labour secretary. The coffee and donut chain is only one of several employers that have turned to the Southeast Asian country for workers. A team of Saskatchewan employers attended a job fair in the Philippines this month and a Philippine delegation is planning to travel to Manitoba and Alberta to scout job prospects. The Philippines signed an agreement with Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Advanced Education and Employment that could result in up to 5,000 workers from the Philippines going to that province. The Philippines is finalizing a similar accord with Manitoba and is in talks with Alberta.

Ford gives bonuses to boost morale

Oakville, Ont. — Ford Motor Co. will pay “modest” bonuses to every American and Canadian employee in an attempt to improve morale after a year of job cuts and record losses. A spokesman for the auto maker said unionized workers in the U.S. and Canada will receive about $500. Ford recorded a record $12.7-billion US loss last year, cut 14,000 salaried jobs and said it will close nine plants by 2008.

Help older workers stay on the job: Dodge

Calgary — Employers need to support workers in staying on the job past age 65, David Dodge, the governor of the Bank of Canada, told the Calgary Chamber of Commerce. With the aging workforce and fewer young workers, employers would do well to help employees remain in the labour force past the conventional retirement age by being more flexible in setting work schedules and redesigning pensions.

TD urges government to consider global warming tax

Ottawa — Economists at TD Bank say the only way to make industries and consumers stop polluting is to tax them for doing so. The bank released a report stating companies and individuals won’t stop polluting as long as it’s cheap to do so. The economists suggest a policy combining emissions regulations, taxes, subsidies and a trading system for emissions credits. Individuals would pay for car pollution while industry would pay for pollution associated with production.

Miners told to improve safety

Toronto — The Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada is warning its junior members that if they don’t drop their “macho attitudes” and improve safety, they could face criminal prosecution under the 2004 amendments to the Criminal Code. The warning came on the heels of a report about eight deaths in the mining and exploration industry in 2006. The report also found that at least 29 accidents caused companies to lose about 6,600 work days in 2006.

Nearly half of Canadians invest in RRSPs

Winnipeg — An RRSP exit poll found 42 per cent of eligible Canadians made an RRSP contribution for the 2006 tax year. The Investors Group poll, conducted after the contribution deadline of March 1, found 55 per cent of contributors had consulted a financial advisor. Albertans, at 53 per cent, were the most likely to have contributed to an RRSP.

IBM gives employees financial advice

Armonk, N.Y. — IBM has launched a five-year, $50-million US initiative to help employees with their financial education and planning. Employees and their partners can access live and web-based investment seminars. Starting next month, Fidelity Investments and Ayco, a division of Goldman Sachs Group, will provide employees with unlimited one-on-one personal financial planning and counselling by phone.

Ontario faces teacher overload

Toronto — Ontario teachers’ colleges will turn away more than half of applicants this spring, according to the Ontario College of Teachers. More than 16,000 candidates have applied for programs to begin this fall, but only 7,500 will get in. An Ontario College of Teachers’ survey of 4,000 teachers found that nearly one-half of newly certified teachers had difficulties finding full-time positions.

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