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Labour study to examine business confidence in Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo

PHOTO. Looking down Franklin Avenue from the seventh floor board room in the municipal building. Jenna Hamilton/ MORNING REPORTER.

A local organization plans to take a close look at business confidence in the region.

The Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo Economic Development and Tourism (FMWBEDT) will conduct a labour study.

Partnering with regional stakeholders, the study seeks to understand workforce requirements and challenges as the COVID-19 crisis evolves.

A national study from October found small business confidence across Canada on a decline.

It also found several disclosed uncertainty about their outlook in the next 12 months.

RELATED: COVID-19 second wave eroding small business confidence in Canada

Kevin Weidlich, President and CEO of the FMWBEDT said the impacts of the pandemic on employment is a global concern.

“Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo can use this study’s findings to support and respond to our region’s labour market needs, [and it’s] an essential investment in our economic future.”

The study covers the entire Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, including Indigenous communities.

It will provide local and regional employers with strategies to address needs and workforce shortages.

Director of Employment and Training for the Athabasca Tribal Council, May-Britt Jensen said the information will be of benefit to Indigenous residents and business owners.

“The information gathered from this survey will provide support, clarity and guidance to the work that our First Nations are doing in employment and training for Indigenous people who reside in our region. This will increase quality of life by providing meaningful employment, which in turn contributes to a sustainable and healthy community.”

The survey and more information about the FMWBEDT are available online.

Participants have until Dec. 21, 2020, to take the survey.

A full report on its findings is expected in March 2021.