It’s been a couple of months since the federal government announced a major overhaul to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). We’re still in a transition period and there are some kinks to be worked out, so the true effect of these changes is yet to be determined.
Some of the more significant changes involve a move from labour market opinions (LMOs) based on specific occupational classifications to labour market impact assessments based on actual labour market data and more stringent requirements for employers to look for Canadian workers first; and a differentiation between high- and low-wage temporary foreign workers.
The changes came in the wake of practices by some employers who were abusing the TFWP. In some of these cases, foreign workers were being paid much less than they should have been, and in others it was questionable employers had met the requirement to try to fill positions with Canadian workers before going the foreign worker route. The feds decided it was time to make things a little harder to bring in foreign workers and protect the Canadian labour force.
Indeed, it seems it’s now noticeably more difficult for employers to recruit foreign workers, as they have to provide more information and proof that reasonable efforts have been made to recruit Canadians before resorting to workers from other countries, and the feds themselves will check into the availability of Canadian workers. Also, the government has addressed the controversy over exploited lower-pay and lower-skilled foreign workers by limiting the proportion of low-wage foreign workers — those earning below the median wage in the particular province or territory.
The federal Employment and Social Development department recently announced foreign worker applications for July and August were 74 per cent lower than for the same period in 2012.
Some employers have expressed concern that without a steady influx of foreign workers, it will be hard to do business. In some industries and area, there just isn’t enough Canadian workers to meet labour market needs. In Western Canada, some industries have a shortage of skilled labour and they just can’t find Canadian talent.
Are the federal changes to the temporary foreign worker program too broad of a brush and a too-hasty response to a few isolated problems? What can employers in industries who rely on foreign workers because of a dearth of Canadian options do? Will the more complicated and lengthy process of recruiting foreign workers be an obstacle to meeting the demands of their businesses?
Source: HR Reporter
The Canadian government will soon take a more aggressive approach when it comes to recruiting skilled workers from abroad.
Immigration Minister Chris Alexander says that his government’s “transformational” plan is to target specific people deemed desirable in Canada’s marketplace – “rare birds if you will.”
The plan is unique in that the government intends to tap into Canadian resources abroad, including “government officials, diplomats and representatives of Canadian industry” to help them reach out to desirable candidates.
“We are trying to get back to that outward and proactive [recruitment],” said Minister Alexander, referring to government strategies of targeted recruitment in the 1950s and 1960s. For instance, a student recruitment officer working at a Canadian consulate abroad might approach schools and student groups to give seminars on living and working in Canada.
The plan is part of a larger, ongoing immigration policy initiative that aims to hone in on the workers Canada will most need in the years ahead.
The government also announced the end of the Immigrant Investor Program wherein wealthy entrepreneurs could basically buy their way into Canada. Minister Alexander said the program was not effective.
Source: Wall Street Journal