Langley businesses face staffing struggles

Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce invites owners to share feedback

Finding and retaining a strong workforce has been an ongoing struggle for local businesses, but the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce wants owners to know the organization is in their corner.

“The chamber is always working to advocate on behalf of businesses,” said Brad Kiendl, president of the chamber. “We’ve always been a voice of business. We certainly work closely with municipal, provincial and the federal government to express some of these concerns and then ultimately working with politicians to see if there are ways they can support local business.”

The problem of retaining staff is not clear-cut, which makes pinpointing the source of the issue difficult, Kiendl explained.

“It’s a common theme that at every level there’s talent shortages,” he said. “It’s getting harder for people to obtain staff and I don’t know if that’s a factor of housing affordability, where people are moving further and further east… or if it just simply that there is not enough skilled workers compared to the demand in the market.”

But what is clear is the increase in minimum wage to $13.85 an hour from $12.65 an hour in June 2019 has played a role.

“It gets tougher probably now with the minimum wage being higher than it use to be,” Kiendl noted.

”I think a lot of businesses use to higher entry level and spend a lot of time training staff… and working them into skilled positions in their business… Nowadays I don’t know if it’s just a different mentality with the workforce, I find a lot of people are hopping from job to job a lot more frequently.”

Wages are set to rise again to $14.60 an hour in June and once more to $15.20 an hour in June 2021.

“It is a challenge right now for businesses and I think really what’s happening is businesses end up paying higher for employees than they otherwise would have years ago, which ultimately drives the cost of the product they are providing up slightly.”

Finding and retaining good staff is one of the most common complaints the Langley chamber receives from business owners, Kiendl explained.

There have been cases of businesses forced to turn down contracts because they lack the workforce to complete the job, he added

“If you were to speak with people in the construction industry, it’s been a challenge for years,” he said. “Finding good skilled traders workers to fulfill those projects that business owners are taking on.”

Although Kiendl said he isn’t aware of a simple fix he invites local business owners to share their concerns with the chamber.

“Is there one simple solution? I don’t think so.”


@JotiGrewal_
joti.grewal@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Eight Township firefighters exposed to COVID-19 now back at work

None of them tested positive for the virus, confirms EOC information officer Steven Scheepmaker

Aldergrove senior gives blood for 200th time, has ‘saved’ 600 lives

There was no cutting of cake for Harvey Rempel but he’s challenging youth to start donating blood

Strong home sales in early March plunged as virus hit

Sales were trending upwards before physical isolation began

Sources B.C. offers Langley residents ‘one-time crisis loans’ to help pay rent

Individual low income earners could receive a loan for up to $1,200 and $1,600 for a family

Trudeau rejects mandatory stay-at-home order for now; COVID deaths up

The virus has now infected more than 10,000 Canadians and cost 130 their lives

Cowichan couple won’t self-isolate after returning from overseas

New law requires 14 days of self-isolation when returning to Canada

Advocates sound alarm over COVID-19 limiting access to contraceptives, abortion

The COVID-19 outbreak has hit sexual-health services from almost every angle

Family uses social media to help truckers find places to eat during pandemic

Restaurants Serving Drivers in Western Canada seeks to provide a list of places open for drivers

Abbotsford man who tries to start gas-station fight gets sprayed with gasoline

Suspect returns with knife and throws it at victim, but is quickly arrested by police

Abbotsford family of 5 who was stuck in Vietnam is now back home

Janzen family sends ‘huge and heartfelt’ thank you to everyone who helped

Celebrate Easter in a ‘safe way,’ Dr. Henry urges as B.C records 6 new COVID-19 deaths

Top doctor urges British Columbians to halt non-essential travel within the province

B.C. health officer says homemade masks may prevent spread of COVID-19 to others

Practising physical distancing, frequent hand washing and resisting touching your face are proven methods

Most Read