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Peter Warrian PhD University of Toronto. CSTEC Steel Industry Human Resources Study. Summary. Steel Employment Trends: Sector Definition Globalization and NAFTA Steel Market Demographic Bubble New Steel Workforce Production Workers Knowledge Transfer New International Steel Management

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Peter warrian phd university of toronto

Peter Warrian PhD

University of Toronto

CSTEC Steel Industry Human Resources Study


  • Steel Employment Trends: Sector Definition

  • Globalization and NAFTA Steel Market

  • Demographic Bubble

  • New Steel Workforce

  • Production Workers Knowledge Transfer

  • New International Steel Management

  • Themes

    • Continuous Improvement

    • Maintenance

    • Steelworker of the Future

Steel definitions
Steel Definitions

  • Broader Steel Industry

    • Independent Pipe Mills

    • Rolling Mills and Drawing Mills

    • Foundries

    • Construction Fabricators

    • Metals Service Centres

Impacts of globalization
Impacts of Globalization

  • Ownership Changes

  • Changes to Competitive Environment

    • Single NAFTA Steel Market

    • Restructured Supply Chains: Value Added Migration

  • Steel HR profile shift

    • More skill-intensive

    • Higher value-added production processes

New steel workforce challenges
New Steel Workforce Challenges

  • Broader Steel Sector will need to recall or hire between 19,000 and 29,000 workers over the next five years.

  • The Sector will need to hire or recall a minimum of 5,000 skilled tradespersons between 2011 and 2015

Knowledge transfer
Knowledge Transfer

  • The transfer of undocumented skills from older workers to younger workers. Knowledge Transfer has emerged as a new human resources planning challenge

Technology factors
Technology Factors

  • Automation of production processes, changing skill needs of both production workers and skilled tradespersons

    • Increase the importance of technicians and technologists

  • Gaps in essential skills will exact a greater cost on both workers and employers

    • Nature of essential skills will also change

New international steel management
New International Steel Management

  • Internationalization of ownership structures. This is most evident in Primary Steel

  • Adoption of international managerial norms and the international flows of talent

    • Productivity benchmarking, new approaches to work organization

    • Distinct strategies related to training and human resources development

Impacts on canadian steel
Impacts on Canadian Steel

  • Dramatic rationalization of production underpinned the increased integration of international markets.

  • In Canada, this rationalization of capacity drove a step-function increase in productivity

    • Reduced overall employment

    • Reshaping the skill needs of the steelworker of the future

Theme 1 no big technology change
Theme: 1 No Big Technology Change

  • No Step Function change in Technology

  • Incremental Improvement on Shop Floor

    • the philosophy of ‘kaizen’ – which achieves results through the cumulative impact of small changes – has become central to management strategy in the primary steel industry.

    • Implications for upgrading the skill requirements and responsibilities of equipment operators and for introducing flexible work structures

Theme 2 total productivity maintenance
Theme 2: Total Productivity Maintenance

  • Historical importance of Maintenance in the Primary Steel industry

  • TPM

    • To achieve and maintain optimal utilization of machinery and equipment

    • Premise of TPM is that machine operators develop tacit knowledge through active management of the machinery

Steelworker of the future
Steelworker of the Future

  • Minimum 2 year Community College degree

  • Long-term strategy to ensure an adequate and appropriate supply of technicians and technologists with the requisite industry experience

  • Mismatch between the supply and demand for persons with technology skills pertains to internationally trained professionals

Production workers
Production Workers

  • Impact of Continuous Improvement

    • Change in attitude that is required, on the part of both managers and shop-floor workers, for implementation to be successful.

    • Flattening of job hierarchies and an expansion of scope within jobs

    • Increased reliance on sensors and computer control systems will make basic computer literacy an essential skill for the majority of production workers

Skilled trades
Skilled Trades

  • Impact of Information Technologies

    • The line between the technology skills of technicians and technologists and the trade skills of a skilled tradespersons will become blurred

    • The normal trades school curriculum and training standards for apprentices will fall short of meeting the Primary Steel industry’s needs.