Three years ago there was a labor shortage in Canada’s oil industry, primarily in the province of Alberta. With the price of oil at $100 USD a barrel and demand increasing, Canadian companies are gearing up to ensure that their oil sands projects are not negatively affected by any labor shortage. Canadian immigration is increasingly granting Labor Market Opinions to those companies recruiting foreign workers. Albertan companies are looking to countries like Mexico to provide labor to meet the demand in Alberta.

In 2008 a barrel of crude oil reached $147 a barrel and Albertan companies did not have the human resources available to fill the demand. The labor shortage caused prices to skyrocket and delayed significant projects in the region. This year, Alberta is projecting that they will require authorization from Canadian immigration for tens of thousands of foreign workers to meet the current demand.

There is some indication that the labor shortage and the demand will be even more significant than it was three years ago. Since then, many of the world’s largest gas and oil companies from Europe, North American and Asia have invested in the oil sands and it is expected that spending will increase by 25%, over the 2008 spending levels.

Although the demand has not yet reached its expected peak, Albertan companies, now familiar with the Canadian immigration process are recruiting and applying for Labor Market Opinions from the Canadian immigration authorities in advance of the rush. The companies understand that it may take a foreign worker many months to obtain their work permit Canada, which is why recruitment is starting so early.

So far this year, companies in Alberta made 9,910 applications to bring in foreign workers. In a recent interview, a foreign worker working in Edmonton, as an electrician, said he is delighted by this news because he is able to earn in one day what he was earning in one week in Mexico.
Foreign human resource companies are already creating training programs for local workers in order to prepare them to come work in Canada.
In addition, the Minister of Immigration in Alberta has petitioned the Federal government to grant the province a higher quota for nominating provincial nominee candidates, so that the foreign workers may eventually become Canada permanent residents, as a result of their work experience in Alberta. 

For more information about immigrating to Canada, contact FWCanada – Canadian Immigration Law Firm

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