ISSUES & CHALLENGES: Relative to Ontario, Ottawa has a higher proportion of professional occupations in business, finance, insurance and clerical occupations. However, interestingly, it has a slightly smaller proportion of administrative and regulatory occupations than Ontario. There appears to be an adequate supply of these occupations: Finance and insurance administrative occupations, Secretaries, Clerical supervisors and Clerical occupations.
There may be a skills surplus in professional occupations in business and finance, and in administrative and regulatory occupations, as there is a greater proportion in Ottawa than in Ontario. There are shortages and challenges in certain key financial roles, such as Financial Advisor, due to significant competitive pressures and the allure of the large financial institutions and federal government.
Small businesses (0-49 employees) make up 97% of Credit Intermediation and Related Activities, 94.7% of Insurance Carriers and 83.6% of Securities, Commodity Contracts, and Other Financial Investment and Related Activities. Most financial institutions offer a number of in-house training initiatives for staff, but these are likely mostly for large businesses; e.g., large banks and insurance companies.
Specific occupations, such as customer service representatives, have a high turnover rate estimated at 20%. There are challenges to retain them as they often obtain their first experiences in a financial institution and then accept advancement opportunities in the federal government.
- External training programs could be developed to provide some form of accreditation, particularly for small business employees in the sector. However, they would need to be recognized by employees in the financial sector as credible. Such training could include leadership and customer service training.
- Retention policies have to be encouraged. Perhaps seminars to discuss these issues within independent/small brokerages/sector may be of interest.
- Toronto has the biggest private banking sector, whereas Ottawa is the seat of the Bank of Canada and the federal government. Ottawa could explore a niche area: micro-credit and community finance initiatives for Canadians, especially rural, aboriginal or immigrant entrepreneurs.
The Sector Summary: Construction has been adapted from an earlier version of the Ottawa Labour Market Plan completed in March 2011.