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How can we address the need for a flexible aerospace manufacturing sector:

In the past months, we have had the privilege of attending several industry events where passionate speakers and panelists shed light on the pressing issues faced by the Canadian Aerospace sector. One theme that repeatedly emerged was the ongoing labor shortage, which, in itself, is not a surprise


The labor shortage in the manufacturing sector, particularly for on-site hands-on roles, has become even more pronounced in the wake of the pandemic. While the debate over remote work continues to echo in office environments, for those on the manufacturing floor, there's no room for such discussion. "We can't send the machine home with them" is a statement I've heard multiple times at these events.

It is easy to nodd in agreement, however hearing this sentiment consistently across various events and corporations has prompted us to ask, "Why not?"

No, we are not suggesting to relocate heavy machinery into employees' households, but it's high time we explore alternative approaches.

What if we consider:

Establishing smaller manufacturing facilities closer to city transit and affordable communities to reduce commute times and costs.

Integrating dedicated childcare facilities with our manufacturing centers to ease the burden on working parents.

Offering shorter, flexible shifts that allow team members to transition between work and personal life multiple times a day.

Rotating roles, the opportunity to integrate off-site clerical shifts with on-site shifts.

This is indeed a significant shift from the traditional cost and operation model. The capital investment required is not insignificant, the municipal impact needs to be considered, but perhaps pure salary adjustments alone won't be enough to make this sector attractive again.

These changes also have a profound impact on diversity and inclusion: By rethinking our work structures, we can create opportunities for a more diverse talent pool to enter the aerospace manufacturing sector. These changes can provide a more inclusive work environment, accommodating the needs of various individuals, including working parents, those with unique scheduling constraints, and individuals from diverse backgrounds.

Photo by Clayton Cardinalli on Unsplash

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