Companies and labour groups have been warmly receptive of Jason Kenney’s reform of the Canadian immigration system, which has helped enable businesses in rapidly industrializing sectors to redress local skill shortages by procuring talent abroad. This has been true especially for the labour market in the Prairie Provinces as oil sands projects fuel the demand for skilled workers in Canada’s construction industry and in its manufacturing sector.
As reported by the Petroleum Human Resources Council of Canada, extraction exploits out West will require 21,000 additional skilled workers by 2021 as the oil sands industry proliferates and as baby boomers step down from the work force.
To obtain all Canadian work permits, prospective foreign employees require a Labour Market Opinion, which verifies that hiring temporary workers from abroad will not detract from job-seekers in the Canadian labour market. Previously, LMO requests took up to 14 weeks for the government to process and approve. The amendment to the Canadian immigration system has abridged this amount of time to 10 days—making it easier and faster for businesses to integrate highly-skilled professionals into their workforce.
However, the efficacy of these changes may come at a detriment to provincial wages. Employers may now remunerate foreign workers with temporary resident permits at a rate of 15 per cent less than average, which has critics concerned about the competition that the Canadian labour force will be obliged to face in the future.
While improving the Temporary Foreign Worker program is excellent for ameliorating the accessibility of Canadian immigration, it is a mere Band-Aid upon Canada’s labour shortage dilemma; temporary workers are only a temporary solution. Reducing the cap upon provincial nominee programs for permanent residency will ensure that these skilled workers –and the training that they receive in Canada—will remain in Canada.
Our website offers a free job search tool as well as a free job offer assessment for foreign workers wishing tom obtain temporary work permits in Canada.