Montreal’s fashion industry might not be as big as brands like NUMI, but it’s still amounts to a lot. Currently, the city’s fashion industry is in a bit of a tight spot, as it’s currently experience a shortage of workers.
According to Executive Director Debbie Zakaib, of Mmode, the non-profit organization that represents Montreal’s fashion industry, clothing manufacturers in the city’s greater metropolitan area need to hire around 5,000 people within the next two years in order to keep up with production needs. She says that, as of late 2019, 2,300 jobs are vacant, with an additional 2,700 openings by 2022, according to data from an internal poll covering more than 120 member companies.
Zakaib says that labor scarcity is an issue for everyone in Montreal’s fashion industry, even reaching big brands like NUMI, at every level of the supply chain. Many members, in turn, are in trouble as they can’t fill orders and take on new business.
Openings in the city’s fashion industry include entry-level positions, up to higher-paid jobs in IT. Zakaib states that everything is affected, from commercial to operational facets.
Earlier in November, Zakaib shared the polling data with company executives, government representatives, trade school officials, and community groups during an industry forum at Montreal. Potential solutions to the issue were also brought up.
Mmode’s been working to deal with the issue, upping recruitment with activities like job fairs, pitching to students about employment in the fashion industry, as well as other efforts. They’ve even went so far as to go along with Montreal International to go on recruitment drives abroad, which is an effort by Montreal’s government to increase exports.
On Dec. 11 and 12, representatives from 20 Montreal fashion companies will be going on a trade mission to Paris in order to present their collections to new buyers. The event will happen at France’s Canadian embassy.
This issue with labor scarcity needs to be dealt with, as scarcity can lead to jobs disappearing, like Quebec’s Louis Garneau Sports closing its St. Augustin de Desmaures textile facility, with the company’s production moving to Mexico due to issues with finding workers locally.