A CLEARING HOUSE of LABOR
A Very Remarkable System being Worked Out in Canada
J. L. RUTLEDGE
A CERTAIN contractor in Yorkton scratched his head in perplexity. He could use five hundred men right at this very moment and, as far as he could see, there was about as much chance of his getting them as there was that the Atlantic Ocean might be found lapping at his office door. He had combed the city as well as he could, and the neighborhood by newspaper advertising. This had brought in a few workers, and appeals to public employment agencies had brought in a few others, of a sort. He figured that he was pretty well through and that the work would be tied up till there was some easing of the labor market.
Walking down the street he noticed the sign of the Government Employment Agency. “I might pick up an extra man or so,” he ruminated, “but I doubt it.
However it is worth the chance.” And he went in.
“Five hundred men you want? Good steady job?
Good pay? Guess we can fix you up all right,” said the superintendent. “Let’s see.”
He went to a file and turned over some pink sheets.“Yes,” he said. “I can get you two hundred men here in two days. If you drop in this afternoon, I’ll tell you when you can expect the others.”
“Oh, cut out the kidding,” replied the contractor, “I’ve gone over this section with a fine tooth comb, and there isn’t a man in the whole county out of hospital who isn’t already working.”
“Well, you want ’em, don’t you?” demanded the Government employment man.
“Sure I want ’em.”
“Well then, you come round this afternoon, and I’ll tell you about it.”
When the contractor had departed the Government man went over his slips again, then telegraphed his provincial centre in Regina. When the answer came back he noted down 100 on a pad, and sent another wire to Winnipeg. The reply to that wire added another 125 on the pad. The Government man thought a moment, then got out another file, and looked it over. What he discovered seemed to satisfy him, and he put a wire through to Ottawa.
The reply to this wire and the contractor arrived at the same time. “Just a second,” said the Government man, “while I look at this.”
“Well,” he said, looking up. “We’ve got your five hundred men for you. Two hundred of them ought to be along in a couple of days, as I told you. I got 75 in Manitoba. They oughtn’t to take a great while longer. There are fifty from Alberta. It will take them a few days extra; and the chaps from B.C. won’t be along for about a week, but I should think the gang from Northern Ontario should arrive about the same time. So you can pretty well figure on your 500 men in a week’s time.”
“Well,” said the contractor, "well I’ll be—”
During the course of the next week men were dropping off every train. Instead of five hundred idle men scattered over Canada, there were five hundred men earning good wages, and there was work being accomplished. And that is what the Clearing House of Labor, otherwise known as the Employment Service of Canada, is doing.
A Nation-Wide System
TT WAS in March, 1914, that a British Columbia Royal A Commission on Labor recommended that every city with a population of ten thousand or over should be required to maintain a public employment bureau. And further they advocated that National Labor bureaus should be inaugurated to take the place of the private agencies through Canada.
Then came the Great War, with all that it meant to Canada in depleted man power. The labor question ceased to be of as vital importance. There was no surplus, there was only a deficit; and though various other Royai Commissions were appointed it has only been in the last couple of years, when the returning soldiers have again
made the problem one of vital importance, that the matter has been given real study. But in that time there has grown up a remarkable system under the direction of Bryce M. Stewart, a system touched with imagination, with an appreciation of the fact that an employment bureau may be something more than a way of getting a man a job; that it may be a means of rectifying the uncertainties of labor; that it may be a means of producing new industries; that it may be a means of educating the coming generation out of the unskilled to the skilled labor
The statistics gathered by the Government Employment Service make one fact stand out clearly, and that is, that the real cause of labor shortages and labor gluts lies largely in the remoteness of employment—the fact that the job and the man are frequently at different points. Nor is this the fault of either the job or the man. For instance, the fall of winter summarily concludes any railroad construction work on the Western prairies. That is no one’s fault. It is a natural condition that leaves a lot of men without jobs in the winter months to become a burden on the prairie municipalities. At the same time there is a keen demand for lumbermen in the woods about Ottawa and Northern Ontario. Here, too, it is a seasonal demand, only when the snow is on the ground. It is obvious that the remedy is to meet the demand of one point with the overplus of the other. In other words, to iron out the peaks of the labor market to a reasonable level. That is exactly what the Government Employment Service is setting itself to do. But in the doing it has learned much about the problems that do not appear on the surface. It has learned, too, that there are many difficulties to be met, and it is going about the matter in a systematic way, rooting out these difficulties, tracing them to their source, and finding the remedy.
A Home Problem
'T'HE Employment Service has found out, among other _ things, that fundamentally the employment problem is a home problem. Men want to work at home with their own families; they want—and the country wants also— that they should live a domestic life, on which nationhood is built.
This would seem to preclude the simple solution of the problem suggested above, of being able to move men to fill the job. But the Employment Service has found out another thing.
It has found out that this factor is very frequently offset by other factors. The mason in Montreal may have a particular interest in work in London. “Wife’s people live in London,” he says, “and the old girl would like to get back. Got a letter from Bill, too, the other day and he says there’s plenty of work, so you can count on me for that job.”
And again experience has proven that there is another
element that makes the movement of labor less complicated than the home idea would •mply. It has discovered that there is a very considerable body of men without homes who are filled with the spirit of adventure. This is not a theory, it is a demonstrable fact. If a regular means of finding employment in distant parts is not available they will become stowaways for the South Seas, or ride the bumpers for British Columbia, setting up what the railroads call a dead-head movement. They are men blindly seeking an objective. They will move on the breath of a rumor. “I met a fellow from Winnipeg,” says one man to another, “and he says there’s lots of work out there.” At once your adventurer is on his way, unmindful of the fact that the demand the other had spoken of was for carpenters while he was a watchmaker, unmindful, too, of the fact that the speaker’s judgment may have been faulty, and, if not, that the situation might have changed. They pass the very employment for which they are fitted because they have not heard of it, perhaps to travel five hundred miles beyond, where no labor is available.
This is a useful force gone to waste, for the essence of the Government Employment idea is to keep labor at home where possible, and, to those of adventurous disposition, to direct them where suitable occupations are to be found, and so to hold the movement in proper and useful channels. The whole effort is toward a decasualization of labor, and the dovetailing of seasonal industries. When the home plant shuts down, perhaps by reason of a fire or some similar mishap, the worker is out of a job. Of course, the idea is to get him back on another job as near his present one as possible at the earliest possible moment, and to keep him there. That means the least loss of time for the worker and for the employer the least expenditure on transportation and, as a rule, the greater permanency of employment.
The man out of work puts his case in the hands of the Employment Service. He has immediately at his service seventy-five employment offices, established from Halifax to Victoria, and the co-operation of the labor departments of the various provinces.
Knowing the Facts of Labor
'T'HERE is nothing particularly complicated about the system. It is merely a matter of knowing the facts about labor supply and demand, something that has only been intermittently considered before, and of co-relating them on a country-wide basis. It works somewhat on this system ; The head of the local bureau each night totals up the labor situation in his own district. He finds perhaps that he has more carpenters, bricklayers, and, perhaps, masons than the local industries can absorb, while, at the same time, from the local employers comes an insistent demand for plasterers, tool makers, and, perhaps, bookkeepers. He has, in other words, a surplus of labor in some lines and an unsatisfied demand in others. Now in the good old days the same conditions existed. The bricklayer out of a job hit the trail with a stick, and a red bandana handkerchief around his belongings. He travelled at a venture, probably to points where there was a3 little demand for his services as there was at home.
But note the simplicity of the system that is slowly and surely beginning to change all this. The local representative telegraphs his provincial headquarters, giving full details of the conditions that exist in his centre. When the clearing house officer opens his mail in the morning he finds just such a report from each office in the province.
Then begins the work of co-relating these various conditions. The lumber hands wanted at Port Arthur can be secured from Ottawa, where the superintendent reports a decline in lumbering activity and many lumbermen out of employment. The plasterers wanted for the new technical school at London have just been released from work on the Parliament buildings in Ottawa. The clearance officer wires the superintendent and he has the unplaced
laborers just where the demand for their services is found, and the superintendent arranges for the transfer.
Making the Long Jumps
BUT of course the province is only a community on a large scale, and the shifting of labor from one place to another within the confines of the province does not entail any great difficulties. But frequently the difficulty is province-wide. For instance, the Western provinces during the harvest season have a demand that cannot be met within their own limits.
Now, when the labor situation in the various provinces has been ironed out as smoothly as possible, there remains the possibility, indeed the probability, that the clearance officer of the provincial headquarters will be faced with the same difficulty as was the local superintendent— a surplus of laborers in some line of work and an unsupplied demand in another.
Money is tight, and up in the mining sections of Cobalt, Sudbury, and the Sault, metal miners are being laid off. Obviously there is no other employment to be found for them in their own line within the province, and it becomes a matter of an interprovincial movement. This is done through a provincial clearance department, with headquarters at Ottawa and Winnipeg, and branches at Moncton, N.B., and Vancouver, B.C. The clearing officer of the province, after doing his best to distribute the surplus labor in his own department and to meet the demand, reports any surplus of either to the interprovincial clearing officer.
The interprovincial officer, having a record of the surplus labor throughout the Dominion and of the demand for workers by employers, sets about the task of transferring the worker to the job.
To facilitate this transfer movement, where such becomes necessary, the Government Employment Service has a working arrangement with practically all the railroads whereby second-class fares are issued at 2}4 cents a mile. As these trips often run into a thousand miles or more, as in a recent instance where a number of carpenters were transferred from Ottawa to Winnipeg, it will readily be seen that this is an important factor.
Limiting Labor Loss
TT IS to be remembered too that this plan operates with speed as well as efficiency. The laborer who would be out of work in his home town goes to the employment agency, discovers where his services are needed, and is on his way without delay.
Because provision is made for these transfers covering great distances, it is not to be inferred that these long jumps are encouraged. It is a point of pride for the local superintendent to place his men near home. The effort is not to develop a demand for labor, but rather to settle men in steady jobs and avoid, where possible, the loss of time and money incident to long transfers. But in this connection it must be remembered that there are certain industries, such as that of the Western grain farm, that develop an intense seasonal demand that must be met. Men must be available f~r the harvest season, and so also with other occupations that are seasonal in their char acter.
Some Facts and Figures
T MIGHT be interesting to consider the actual movement of labor under the Employment Service. In the period April 5, 1919, to March 27, 1920, there were 16,116 interprovincial transfers. In the same period there we;re 23,962 transfers within the province, making a total of 40,078.
During the period March 1, 1919, to May 1, 1920, the placements in regular employment totalled 377,478, and the placements in casual jobs 60,873 (a casual job is one of one week’s duration or less), making a grand total of 438,351.
Of the regular placements, 25,104 were women and 352,374 were men. The bulk of the casual placements were wo-
The number of vacancies for regular employment for men and women notified to the Service during the period in review was 515,520, of which 62,600 were for women and 452,920 for men. In addition, 65,061 vacancies for casual employment were reported. This makes a grand total of 580,581 vacancies notified to the Service.
The placements in regular employment for the period amounted to 70 per cent, of the applications for employment and 73.2 per cent, of the vacancies for regular positions notified by employers.
The private employment agencies have met this demand, in a way, in past years. But there is an essential weakness in the distribution of labor through such an agency, because the agency
profits on the individual transaction, whereas good employment work is in inverse ratio to the number of turnovers. Of, course, it would be unfair to group all public labor agencies together and call them all bad. But, human nature being what it is, the effort will in all probability be devoted toward the money making end, and the money making end for the public employment bureau is to put the man on the job. W’hether he is suited to the job, or whether he stays on it, or even arrives at it, is of comparatively little moment, because these agencies get their payment on the basis of the initial transaction when the worker and the job are introduced to one another.
At the best it is a faulty system, at the worst it develops into a very serious menace. The public employment agency unquestionably rendered a service in the days of expansion, but its offences were many. After the seeker for employment has paid his three dollar fee, he was faced with the possibility of misrepresentation of the employment conditions. Sometimes he found that there was a strike on at the plant to which he was sent, and that he was labelled as a scab, or that the employment was at a camp fifty miles from the railroad, and that he had to beat it through the bush to the accompaniment of a torment of black flies. There is an instance on record of miners brought from Scotland to work in British Columbia mines, to find on arrival that there was in progress at the mines a strike of which they had not been made aware. On learning this they refused to work, which naturally still further complicated the labor problem of that place. There are instances, too, of agencies overcharging for transportation and meals. Again, there are instances of splitting fees with foremen to encourage them to fire the new arrivals, and thus keep up a continual stream of casual
These are not, of course, practices common to reputable labor agencies. But even in the best agency work, the stress, as has been said, is laid upon getting the man appointed to the job, and the profit, is made on numerous turnovers.
Taking the case of the Government Employment Bureau, there is no charge, and consequently no inducement to questionable courses. There is a real effort to develop a condition where men will be employed at congenial tasks all the time, and this presupposes an effort to select the man for the job, so that he will be contented to remain.
The neutrality that the Employment Service must maintain requires that, where occupations are opened because of a strike of former workers, this labor demand shall be placed before the unemployed laborer. But it also requires that the laborer shall be made conversant with all the facts. He takes the job or leaves it at his own volition knowing all the conditions that exist.
What the Employer Thinks of the Service
TN ADDITION, the man has his transportation arranged
for, and his trip planned for him. Just how effectively this system has worked out is evidenced by some letters received by the Employment Service.
Take this extract for instance from the letter of a Manitoba farmer:
“The fact that only one agency is handling labor is an advantage to employer and employee alike. Not in thirty odd years have labor conditions been so favorable during harvest months. You have been able to send us a
good class of labor from the eastern provinces, and you were able to tell these men just what was being paid all over the country, and to let the famxers know just what they would have to pay, so that the men knew just what to ask, and the farmer just what he would have to expect to pay. It has done away with the feeling that the harvester was holding the farmer up.
“Men have employment within a few hours of arrival. In fact, not more than two or three had to pay for a meal in the village before going to work. In past years it was customary to see a dozen or more able bodied men lying around the village during the early days of harvest waiting for higher wages, but that is all a thing of the past now.’’ Or here is an extract from a letter sent by a lumber company: “We used to get a very unsatisfactory type of man, and had often to pay for the man’s time and railway fares both ways, and in the end we have had as many as thirty men in one lot jump their fares. Under your system we are free of that difficulty. The men are instructed how to get here, where to get lunches, etc. As a result they arrive in good spirits and there are no kickers among them.’
Charting Labor Seas
THE old bogey of the laborer, that there is only a certain amount of work and that no more can be developed is being pretty well discredited in these modern times, and there is no factor that aids so materially in doing this as a thorough knowledge of the situation. Probably the most important work being done by the Employment Service is not the actual placing of men in employment, but is found in the charting of the labor situation, because this study of the winds and currents of the labor sea is bringing about an understanding of conditions that permits of the remedy or prevention of those that are disadvantageous or dangerous. There is a certain periodicity to labor shortages and labor gluts. There are two peaks in the year as shown in the accompanying chart, and one of these is of labor. Knowing this fact, knowing too when it is likely to arrive, it is possible to make provision to meet it. But it is not only this periodicity that can be forecast with more or less accuracy. This is due more or less to the nature of the labor. There is another factor, affected more or less by local conditions, a glutted market, tight money, the hundred and one things that tend t® slow up the wheels of industry. This cannot be charted as readily. But this much can be done and is being done: It can be forecast with more or less accuracy, since, through the various sources of information, come a thousand and one indications of probabilities in the labor market. These are corelated and sent out by the interprovincial officer in the form of a bulletin. These are growing tendencies, What can be done to meet them? Much can be done, when the system has been thoroughly developed.
Government Work as a Safety Valve
FIRST, there is the evening out of the labor market that will meet the worst phases of the situation, and then there is the possibility of using government work as a safety valve. If provincial employment seems flush, if building permits are mounting into millions, and demand for labor is increasing week by week, then is the time for the governments, both Dominion and Provincial, to release with a sparing hand the employment which they control. Much government work permits of deferment. Works such as new post offices and armories, works of reclamation and conservation need not be pressed; the delay of months will not be of great importance. But when the barometrics of the service indicate that the crest of the wave of private employment has been reached, and that the labor market is descending into the trough, then is the time for the Government to release the governmental employment that has been held in abeyance for just such an occasion. Some day this will be done on a comprehensive scale, and when Government employment is used as a balance wheel the labor market will be fairly steady.
But there is still another service provided by these interprovincial bulletins.
The head of a local exchange notices in one of these bulletins that there is a good coppersmith available. He drops in to see the head of a plant who has use for this type of work.
“I notice, Mr. Smith,’’ he says, “that there is a good coppersmith available at such and such a place, and I thought that possibly it would be good business for you to snap him up."
Smith thinks over the matter. He hadn't felt any need for an extra coppersmith, but t hen he remembered that in the past, when he had wanted one, he had found some difficulty in locating one through an employment agency. PerContimted on page 50
Continued from page 13
I haps if he had another man, he could go into that particular branch of his business ! a little bit more ambitiously. The boys ■ on the road were clamoring for something a little new. “Well, send him along,” he tells, the superintendent. “I guess we can use him all right.”
Now it will be noticed that there had been no job for that man. It was only the fact that someone knew he wanted one, that set the superintendent looking for an opening.
That sort of thing has grown so common in the Service that it is no longer a matter of comment. There are similar instances every day. Instances where the superintendents have gone out and found the jobs, or where an unhopeful manufacturer has dropped in at the Service office as a sort of hundred to one chance of getting what he wanted.
Sometimes it is the jeweller at Vancouver who has been looking eagerly for a skilled watchmaker, and who, through the Service, finds the man he needs in a little town in Nova Scotia.
Sometimes it is the skilled fur designer, released from a Calgary fur house, who finds a very attractive opening with an all year fur house at Brandon.
Sometimes it is the ship draftsman, let out at Vancouver on the completion of a contract, who finds suitable employment with a Montreal shipbuilding Company.
Sometimes it is the more familiar transfer of Eastern workers to Western harvest fields.
Fostering New Industries
AND then again there is an even more interesting and more romantic turn to ¡ it wherein the Service has been enabled to ; actually aid in the creation of new indus' tries that have grown to be a substantial I factor in Canadian business life, giving j new employment to a large number of men. In some instances their operations , have reached even beyond the shores of I Canada.
Of course it is to be noted here that no ‘ man is ever brought from abroad, before I the most careful combing of the labor i market in Canada has proved to a concluI sion that such a man is not to be found in the country.
It may be the demand of an entirely new industry, sprung up out of the postbellum readjustment, toy making, pipe making or some industry of the kind which was practically unknown in Canada.
For instance, an industry in Montreal must have an expert in waxing dolls’ heads. He is not to be found in Canada. That point is made clear by a very thorough investigation. “Very well,” says the Service, “we’ll get him for you elsewhere.” Now this man is not only not taking anyone else’s job, but he is, like so many other men who are secured in this way, a pivotal man; about him a new industry can be built giving employment to dozens and hundreds of Canadian workers. An expert dye man may make a dye industry. An expert on dolls’ heads may make a toy industry.
NOR does the Employment Service hold itself to labor skilled and unskilled so called, but to workers with hand and brain. In the professional and business section already much has been done in securing positions for teachers, for instance. Especially is this so in the West. Within the course of the past few months 176 teachers have been placed in Saskatchewan schools without any fee to any teachers’ agency, that usually costs the applicant anywhere fronv$15 to $40. A large number of returned men have also been settled in their profession to their own satisfaction. Especially has this been the case with engineers, many of whom have been found permanent employment.
This returned man problem brings up
another feature of the Service’s work. Special attention is being given to men handicapped in war or in industry through injury or accident. Obviously an organization of the kind outlined has an enormous advantage by reason of the scope of its activities. It has a very large proportion of the employment of the country passing through its records. An alert employment interviewer in this job will see an opportunity for a man who has lost an arm, or, in that job which requires that a man shall be constantly seated, he finds a place for the man who has suffered the loss of both legs. Or again in the watchman’s place, where his years will be of no disadvantage, a position for a man of 60, who cannot compete successfully in the open market.
In this way it is possible to utilize the services of men who would otherwise be in despair, and to give them a new sense of usefulness and another chance.
The whole system depends for its effectiveness on an understanding of conditions. It is the first time that Canadians have realized that just as you can understand and forecast weather probabilities, so you can forecast the probabilities in the labor situation. It is a new science, but one that is being mapped and charted by means of graphs and other methods, so that, in a few years’ time, when it is possible to get a comparison of conditions in years as well as months, it will be impossible for labor upheavals to descend on us unawares.
Whence Comes the Information
WHENCE does the information come that permits of this system of charting? It comes through the Department of Labor of the various provinces. It comes through the officials of the Employment Service who are scattered in all parts of the country and who are constantly in touch with local conditions, and trained to interpret them. But these represent only a fraction of the sources of information. For instance, the Service has the assistance of the secretaries of a large number of labor unions, from whom they receive details of skilled laborers who are seeking employment.
The Service also receives weekly reports from 5,000 employers in all branches of industry—men who have in their establishments about 700,000 employees. This is a fairly good sample of the labor market and certainly it is sufficient to provide reliable information regarding conditions.
Each employer tells weekly the number of employees he has on the payroll, and the number he anticipates a week hence. These are assembled by industries, and the Employment Service is able to indicate from week to week, whether employment in, say, the textile industry is up or down, and the percentage of change. Through January and February of this year, for instance, conditions were almost static, probably as a result of the holiday and inventory period, but since March of this year expansion has beçn fairly general, and the 5,000 representative employers have roughly 60,000 more workers on the payroll than on January 15th. It does not take a great deal of imagination to appreciate the vital importance of information such as this in stabilizing labor conditions.
Some Difficulties and Dangers
NOW, of course, there are some objections raised to the methods of the Service, and some difficulties that are bound to creep in. Let us instance a few. Here is an employer who wants a trained man for certain work in a paper mill. Does he go to the Employment Service? In this case he does not. Says the employer: “Your theory is all right, but it doesn’t fit in my case. I want a man who understands the business, and my foreman can pick that man better than you
can because he knows the business fron the ground up. I’ll advertise for my man.'
Now this sounds a plausible enough idei certainly. There is this, however, to b said against it, that for every man that thforeman sees, the Service would see dozens How then is it possible to offset this lacl of expert knowledge? That very prob lern has been faced and a remedy pro vided. It works this way. In ever; industry requiring expert work, there ar certain technical processes that could b known only to the expert worker. Thes are outlined in the form of questions, wit the correct answer appended.
Suppose there is a large demand fo glass workers. The various offices of th Service give notice that such workers ar required. When these apply the super intendent takes out the form which deal with the particular department of th industry for which workers are needet He puts these test questions to the appl cant and checks the answer with tha given on the form. In this way he ca eliminate men who are manifestly unfi for the job, and by the readiness of the; answers he can judge of their probabl capabilities. In this way the whol spread of the Service is available for th employer.
Now there is still another objection tha is raised, and that is, that making publi the labor demand unsettles workers wh are placed in occupations at the timi For instance, recently there came to one ( the branches of the Service an order fc ten carpenters at a stated salary. The at once posted notice of the demant The demand came from an outside poir where wages were ten cents an hour hight than they were in the neighborhoot Promptly ten carpenters who were en ployed at the place applied for these job Obviously if the superintendent ha snapped these men up there would ha\ been ill-feeling on the part of the employe The superintendent put the matter befo) the employer and a meeting was arrange between him and the ten carpenter Having been supplied with full informatie by the superintendent of the service, 1 was able to point out to his men that tl job they were considering was in a lari city, where they w-ould be a distam from their work, where their general e: penses would be increased. He was ah able to point out that this work was on, for a few months, while his work w: permanent. Finally an increase of fi' cents an hour was agreed on to the mutu satisfaction of everyone concerned and tl ten carpenters remained on the job.
Of course, there are employers who a going to object to this organization labor on a national basis. They are co: tented with the local supply and demar basis that often makes it easy for them pick up labor at next to nothing. V have all known of places where labor w; secured for say $2.00 a day that weu have cost $4.50 a day at another poir These days are passing and the Emplo ment Service is helping them to pass, aí only the unthinking will regret the fa The dáys are coming when it will not 1 possible for a manufacturer to pay worker less than he is worth, nor a work to demand more than he is entitled to, f labor will be evenly distributed. Thi will be destroyed the chief cause of indu trial unrest, the unjustifiable difference wage for the same work under simil conditions.
Making Generation of Expert Worke
THERE is one other phase of the Ei ployment Service’s activity that worthy of some consideration. That the matter of its handling of the juven: worker. Probably no one will deny t general proposition that much of the u employment that strikes the country fro time to time is due to unskilled lab Men have gained the casual labor ha! largely because they have not becor interested in any job sufficiently to make a life work.
These men leave school as soon as t law allows, jump on a grocery cart, join a messenger service, and think th have found employment. At 18 they a earning the wages at which they began, a: at 20 they realize that they are groi men without any real experience for me remunerative occupations. Their late abilities have never been appraised a: related to world demand.
The Employment Service plans and h under way a scheme to take up the ta of making these coming workers an ecc
omic asset. The idea is to have the schools give notice in advance of the boys and girls who are leaving to go to work. The school records will then be searched and the child’s particular abilities will be taken into account. The parents’ wishes will be taken into account, and as far as possible the young worker will be placed in a position where he is doing the thing he likes to do, and where he is engaged in an occupation in which he can take some pride.
The employer’s co-operation will be enlisted. He will tell what the next step up will be, and what training will qualify for this position. The Service will follow the boy up, get him in touch with the technical school, which will give him the necessary training and vocational guidance to enable him to become a skilled laborer, abl to triumph over the vicissitudes of industry. This is real prevention
and means a small employment problem a generation hence. It means that new industries can be built because of a more skilful population.
0f course all this needs co-operation, the co-operation of the labor interests and of the manufacturing and labor-employing interests. Much has been done in this way by the appointment of provincial and Dominion councils who have representatives from each department on their committees. This and the tact with which the Service has been conducted has proven a safeguard against any feeling that the interests of one class were being fostered at the expense of the other. It is smoothing down the peaks of labor and labor demand, and that means solid industrial development, and combined with that it means fair and equable treatment for the worker.