In light of the recent upturn in the provincial economy, officials in Alberta are calling on the federal government to increase immigration levels for skilled workers.
Thomas Lukaszuk, Alberta’s employment and immigration Minister, says it is time for focus to shift away from temporary foreign workers to permanent immigration as the primary source of foreign skilled labour.
“The federal government took in 280,000 new immigrants this year, the highest number ever, and that’s great,” said Lukaszuk. “But that record intake didn’t make a dent in the 360,000 temporary workers in the country.”
Lukaszuk points to the continuous strong figures in temporary workers as proof of the country’s ongoing needs in terms of labour, particularly now as the economy shows signs of recovery. At the same time, there are constant reminders from experts regarding the impending retirement of the baby-boomer generation, wherein hundreds of thousands of workers will retire with no one to take their place.
The minister also cites recent changes to the temporary foreign worker program, saying that new time limits on employment terms will likely make Canada a less attractive destination for these workers in the global market.
Just a few short years ago, Alberta experienced a massive economic boom, and employed more temporary foreign workers per capita than any other province. Officials say that skilled labour is key to continued recovery.
Source: Vancouver Sun