A Skill Building Process

A Skill Building Process

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Contributors:

The Department of Labour, Skills, & Immigration

Understanding and improving process is one of the major building blocks attached to long-term business growth and profitability. Another factor aiding business growth is the successful adoption of advanced manufacturing techniques and digitization. Canada ranks poorly in both technology adoption and innovation in manufacturing compared to other economies (Embracing Change: Industry 4.0 & Canada’s Digital Future in Manufacturing, CME). The Excellence in Manufacturing Consortium (EMC) in Nova Scotia saw an opportunity to address these challenges through a partnership with Labour, Skills & Immigration (LSI) and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA).

“The ‘Lean Leader’ program was born from this need to build capacity in our region in both understanding process and improving it. Increasing the likelihood that these companies will make better informed technology adoption decisions in the future,” says Sue Elliott of EMC. The training, supported by the Workplace Innovation and Productivity Skills Incentive (WIPSI), took participants from 10 companies through continuous improvement activity to help sector firms become more productive, reduce enterprise-wide costs, and engage sustainable solutions key to their success. WIPSI is a Nova Scotia funding incentive for employers and industry associations looking to invest in training employees to improve productivity and innovation. WIPSI is dedicated to providing the support that employers need to build a skilled and adaptable workforce.

Unlike many training initiatives, companies identified and worked on real workplace problems with a defined return on investment (ROI). “Working on real problems through ‘Workplace Performance Projects’ makes all the difference, as the learning had real-world application that was immediate and identifiable,’ says Elliott.

Enhancing productivity skills and knowledge transfer results in a better trained sector workforce with an improved ability to utilize good manufacturing practices and lean methods. The biggest takeaway from this collaboration between EMC, LSI, and ACOA was the ROI from the Workplace Performance Projects. The cohort collectively saved over $4 million in ROI through their projects. This return came in the form of saving, improved capacity, and cost avoidance. The program also touched over 200 members of the sector through regularly scheduled events, setting the stage for more buy-in for this type of training and development.

If you are interested in learning more about the available funding to support improvements in productivity and innovation, take a look into the WIPSI program at Workplace Innovation and Productivity Skills Incentive - Government of Nova Scotia, Canada.

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