Employers are doing everything they can to help attract foreign skilled trade workers to Alberta in anticipation of growing worker shortages over the next decade.
The province, which has been experiencing massive growth for several years now, is expected to be short upwards of 114,000 workers in the trades by 2021. Such startling figures have prompted employers to seek out solutions beyond their borders, and several new initiatives across the province have been set up with the aim of assisting foreign workers.
One such initiative is the Qualification Certification Program, which enables foreign skilled trade workers who meet minimum certification and experience requirements to come to Canada and work in their trade for up to 12 months before taking exams for recertification.
Since 2005 over 2,000 foreign workers have become certified in the province. Despite these promising numbers, however, employers are still feeling the pressure and hoping that the government can do more to help. The new skilled trade worker immigration stream, introduced this year by the Conservative government, should go a long way in addressing the issue.
“No business owner in their right mind would go through all the costs and hassle of bringing in skilled workers from another country if there was someone down the street willing and able to work in that position,” said Alberta’s director of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business Richard Truscott, adding that the dire situation in Canada has forced employers to adapt to attract and retain more workers from overseas.
Source: Edmonton Journal