A new survey reveals that more than half of Canada’s adult workforce is unwilling to relocate for pursuing employment opportunities, which also throws light on why many Canadian companies have to hire temporary foreign workers because of the shortage of local skills.
The survey, conducted by Ipsos Reid for the Canadian Employee Relocation Council (CERC), checked with more than 2,000 Canadian workers whether they would be willing to move to a job that either operated from elsewhere within their current provinces or from other parts of the country. Experts consider the CERC survey to be accurate to within 2.5 percentage points.
Only 10 percent of the Canadians surveyed expressed their willingness to move, while a third expressed their reservations about the movement, even though they mentioned that with the right levels of persuasion and incentives, they would be willing to relocate for the job.
Reviewing the results of the survey, the head of the Canadian Employee Relocation Council, Stephen Cryne, said that the findings were disturbing. The Council said that the observations from the survey emphasised some of the challenges that businesses, which are looking to attract highly skilled labour, continue to face.
Respondents, who were willing to move to another part of the country for a job, wanted a top incentive of a 20 percent pay hike, in addition to the employer bearing all the expenses related to the relocation.
More than half of the respondents also mentioned that the government could play a vital role in making the relocation more attractive by permitting employers to provide a tax-free housing allowance for up to six months. This would not only help the relocating employees avoid unnecessary accommodation worries that come with a relocation for a new job, it would also enable the employees to settle themselves in the new location.
Half of the respondents also said that the government must permit employers to provide employees with non-taxable, interest-free loans of up to $100,000, so that the relocating employees could purchase a home in the new location.
A 2013 report from Statistics Canada and Haver Analytics shows that the percentage of Canadians moving between provinces has declined steadily over the years since 1977, from 1.5 percent in 1977 to under one percent in 2012.
While the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development has recommended that Canada reduce barriers to geographical and occupational mobility, Council head Cryne felt that the government needed to promote the benefits of labour mobility in Canada more vocally.
Source: The Canadian Press
During his recent address at the Halifax Chamber of Commerce lunch, Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil backed the government’s decision to increase immigration. He also encouraged people to follow the Ivany report recommendations, which could slow the province’s economic slide.
The lunch event drew over 750 people, making it the biggest attendance ever for the event. McNeil did not offer any details about how the government would boost immigration. However, the audience seemed to be receptive to his message.
McNeil said that people held incorrect notions about opening up the province to newcomers. People felt that increasing immigrants would lead to a lesser number of opportunities for the citizens of the province. However, he believed that opening up the province created more opportunities than ever. McNeil also urged the business community to adopt the recommendations prescribed by the Ivany report, as this would help the province stem its economic slide.
Released earlier this month, the economic development report forecast an extended period of decline for the province, unless a reversal of the population and economic trends took place. Additionally, the report also recommended bringing about a change in the current suspicious attitudes about business.
When asked whether his government would implement any of the recommendations put forward by the Ivany report by making them into laws, McNeil refuted the possibility. He said that legislating prosperity was an impossible task. However, he did urge people to develop a “Do It Yourself” attitude, which would help in reducing their dependence on the government.
The chamber’s president Valerie Payne asked the premier to balance the budget by April 2015. To this, McNeil responded by saying that the goal would not be within reach for the next three to four years, at the very least. He reiterated his government’s commitment to eliminating the deficit within a specific timeframe, as it formed a part of their first mandate. Before concluding his address, the premier also promised a broad review of the public schools in the province.
Source: CBC / Radio-Canada