CASE Leverages Power of Technology to Address Canadian Workforce Shortage
The Canadian Association for Supported Employment (CASE) has partnered with Fit First® Technologies to assess, train, and link persons with disabilities to employers, and to enhance the way they participate in the workforce. Funded by the Government of Canada’s Sectoral Initiative Program (SIP), the CASE Innovation Lab Project supports partnerships with organizations like Fit First to develop and implement sector-based solutions to address workforce challenges.
The Canadian job market is in the throes of a labour shortage. According to Statistics Canada, the unemployment to job vacancy ratio is at a historic low in every province. Boomers are exiting the workforce at an alarming rate, and COVID ushered many ‘near retirement’ individuals into early retirement. There are simply more positions available than people to fill them. The demand for skilled workers exceeds availability, particularly in up-and-coming sectors across the country such as information and communication technology, agriculture, natural resources, and environment.
Earlier this year, the Fit First® Technologies platform Jobtimize® was selected as one of three promising technologies to receive support from the CASE Innovation Lab. “We’re harnessing the power of innovative technology to bridge the gap between under-employed populations and employers in need of new, diverse talent,” says Joanna Goode, Executive Director of CASE. “There are currently approximately 1 million Canadian job seekers experiencing disability who are unemployed or underemployed, and Canadian employers coast to coast need the skills, education, and experience of this untapped talent resource.”
“Aptitude is evenly distributed, opportunity is not,” says Jan van der Hoop, President of Fit First® Technologies. “There is a world of hidden talent out there. Our Jobtimize® platform allows us to look beyond the resume and find people who may face barriers to employment.
The Jobtimize® technology digs deeper to understand the person behind a resume. For decades organizations have relied upon resumes as the heart of their recruitment process, which systematically excludes strong candidates without a mainstream resume due to limited access to traditional education and employment opportunities. Recruitment systems are geared to screen for pre-determined patterns of education and experience that may not sync with the skills required to do the job.