At the beginning of the year, in an effort to enhance and target the services it delivers, AILIA commissioned an online survey of 570 individuals, companies and organizations working in Canada’s language Industry. The issues covered in the survey included: client procurement practices, issue priorities for the industry, awareness of and opinions on the Translation Service Standards initiative, recruitment and labour shortages, information sharing, adoption of new technologies, and the role of AILIA.
Following are the key findings of the survey.
Most respondents expect their revenues from the private sector to increase over the next three years and their revenues from government to decrease.
A majority of respondents expressed satisfaction with the private sector’s language services procurement practices. Only one in four was satisfied with government procurement practices.
Industry-wide, the top three priorities to be addressed to ensure the viability and financial health of the industry are: increasing the profile of the language industry, adopting new technologies, and increasing information sharing and networking among professionals and across different segments of the industry.
Opinions about new standards of practice for business
Only one-third of respondents were familiar with the Translation Service Standards initiative. A majority of those familiar with the initiative, particularly AILIA members, are supportive of the work done to date. A majority of all respondents agreed that better standards of business practices are needed to ensure more consistent provision of high quality translation services.
Role of language industry associations in the standards initiative
A majority of respondents agreed that industry associations should be engaged in training related to the Translation Service Standards initiative including developing training tools and training standards, conducting online training and promoting and facilitating training.
Labour shortages and recruitment
Most respondents think that labour shortages in the language industry currently are only a moderate problem but that this problem will become more serious in three to five years. A majority want to see action taken to address this problem, particularly by colleges and universities, followed by industry, and then by governments.
Conducting recruitment campaigns
The methods rated as most effective for conducting recruitment campaigns to encourage people to study in fields leading to careers in the language industry are advertising in universities, social media, and promotional campaigns in high schools.
Opportunities for sharing and exchanging information
Respondents are only moderately satisfied with their opportunities for sharing and exchanging information with other language industry professionals in Canada and abroad. Most are not satisfied with their opportunities for sharing and exchanging information with government and other service purchasers. AILIA members are very satisfied with their opportunities for sharing and exchanging information with other members.
Priorities for better information
The subjects identified as the top three information priorities for companies and organizations are business opportunities in Canada, new technologies, and industry trends.
Most respondents are at least somewhat familiar with new technologies for the language industry and most make at least some use of them. The most frequent suggestions for facilitating the adoption and use of new technologies included providing information and otherwise promoting their use, training, reducing the cost and improving affordability, particularly for smaller companies and independent contractors, and simplification of software (e.g., common platforms).
Priorities for AILIA
Members think that the top priority for AILIA is to increase the profile of the language industry (which is consistent with what all respondents think is the top priority for the language industry to meet its future challenges). The other top priorities for AILIA identified by members include advocating on behalf of the industry, information sharing and networking among industry professionals, increasing awareness of professional standards, and promoting the adoption of new technologies.
Value of AILIA membership
The top benefits of AILIA membership identified by members are the opportunities for networking with other industry professionals and receiving information on the industry. Less important to members are providing opportunities for marketing their services and member benefits such as group insurance plans and product and services.