Impact of COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in significant impacts across the global sector and its workforce. Support mechanisms are being explored to ensure that Ontario’s  industry and its talent adapts and maintains its global competitiveness going forward.


The automotive and mobility sector has been significantly impacted by COVID-19.  Manufacturing operations were shut down temporarily and the workforce was shifted to remote working where possible.

5.5 million

Canadians were either not employed or working substantially reduced hours as of April 2020


drop in employment in Canada’s vehicle manufacturing sector in the first half of 2020

Impact on Skills

The pandemic has accelerated the emergence of new skills and increased the importance of some existing skills. This includes skills related to human resources management, asset management and other COVID-19 related skills focused on health and safety and the production of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

Moreover, soft skills have further grown in importance. Communication skills, teamwork, customer service, leadership, organizational skills, fast-paced setting, interpersonal skills and attention to detail were among the top in-demand skills in the period Jun to Sep, 2020.*

Some companies have used the downtime at the beginning of the pandemic to invest in skills development for their workforce. With the continued expansion of virtual learning environments and workplaces, there may be  greater demand for social, emotional, and cognitive skills.

*Source: Diversity Institute, Dec 2020

Path to Recovery

As the impact of the pandemic subsides, many of the temporary impacts are slowly recovering. As of Jan 2021, manufacturing employment were almost fully recovered as most firms have returned to full production.


of the jobs lost at the outset of the pandemic were recovered by Oct 2020.*

*Source: LMIC, Nov 2020

Employers have also become more comfortable managing a remote workforce allowing for longer term flexible working opportunities. Moreover, companies are becoming more resilient and will be better prepared for any potential future disruptions.

The increased digital learning offering has also allowed students who were not able to access certain programs, because of their location, to gain access and advance their knowledge.