Loblaw’s ex-employees will need to pound the pavement

Loblaw’s head office in Brampton
Tara Walton/Toronto Star

Job prospects for Loblaw’s 700 laid off employees are uncertain and heavily dependent on personal efforts, said past Mississauga Technology Association president Adolfo Proietti.

“It’s really going to be [up to] the individuals and Loblaws will probably help with retraining or repositioning themselves,” the managing director of A.V. More told YourMississaugaBiz.com.

But Proietti said the future for the administrators and IT workers wasn’t entirely negative. “My sense is the general economy is fairly stable in Ontario, specifically in Mississauga,” he said. “There are lots of strong companies and organizations.”

While the last three years have been rough due to the recession, Proietti said business in Mississauga and the GTA is strong and continuing to grow.

Proietti said many employees might choose to start their own businesses, become entrepreneurs or pursue new careers. “It’s an opportunity for them to find or reinvent themselves in a new way perhaps applying their new skills,” he said. “There’s no easy answer.”

Proietti predicted a similar scenario to the dot-com bust in the early 2000s when 5,000 IT people were suddenly out of work and then slowly reabsorbed over a few years.

“I don’t think there’s going to be any one company or small group of companies that are going to be able to absorb all of those people,” he said of the Loblaw layoffs. “What will happen here my guess will be large amount of people will be displaced and eventually reabsorbed three months, six months or three years. But it will be dependent on the individual and how aggressive they are looking for work, what’s out there and what’s available.”

Still, a 2011 report from the Information and Communications Technology council said that in most regions in Canada and for most ICT occupations, demand for IT professionals will far exceed supply. And it was reported that Canadian employers will need to hire 106,000 information and communications technology workers between 2011-2016.

“The bottom line is I think that every organization has an IT department so one way or another those people will be able to find work.”

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