3,000 foreign workers coming to Canada under federal skilled trades program
The federal skilled trades program started accepting applications on Jan. 2. This is a new immigration program that will bring in 3,000 skilled tradespeople to Canada to fill-in several unoccupied jobs in specific fields.
“The new [Federal] Skilled Trades Program will address serious labour shortages that some regions of the country are facing, and will help grow Canada’s economy,” said immigration minister Jason Kenney.
The new program applies to 43 different occupations. It also promises faster processing times for applications than in the current system.
“These long-overdue changes are part of the government’s plan to build a fast and flexible immigration system that is responsive to the needs of Canada’s economy,” said Kenney.
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Some Canadian employers have welcomed this as it offers them some relief amidst a widespread shortage of skilled tradespeople, which is expected to grow worse and leave as many as 320,000 construction jobs unoccupied during the next eight years.
“Canadian employers have long been asking for ways to get the skilled tradespeople they need to meet demands in many industries across the country,” said Kenney. “We’ve listened to their concerns and created this program in response.”
There is an apparent lack of interest among Canadian students to learn trades as the traditional schooling system favours a university degree, placing it in high regard. This has created a situation in which unemployed youth and unfilled jobs exist together.
Even the Canadian immigration system favours people with a university degree and it is easier for someone with a degree in an ancient language to enter Canada than a tradesperson with years of experience.
The federal skilled trades program focuses on mending these problems and allows a skilled worker with a two-year experience during the previous five years in their trade, a basic knowledge of either English or French and an employment offer to come to Canada.
The new program is not without its critics who point out to 1.5 million unemployed Canadians and suggest they be trained to fill in these vacancies.
The labour minister acknowledges the concern. At the same time he criticized provinces and employers for not doing enough in that regard.
Category: Business Strategy