The construction industry is praising upcoming changes to Canada’s immigration system that will allow more access to skilled trades workers.
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has announced his government’s intention to create a skilled worker category solely for applicants with a background in construction and manufacturing. The move is being heralded by industry professionals as a progressive step toward addressing the looming shortages that have plagued them for years.
“In Canada we’ve been welcoming historic high numbers of immigrants, partly to help us fuel our prosperity in the future and fill growing labour shortages,” said Kenney upon announcing the new stream.“But, to be honest, our immigration programs haven’t been effective in addressing a lot of those shortages. Our immigration programs have become rigid and slow and passive.”
Current procedures have drastically limited the number of skilled trades workers entering Canada in recent years. They make up only a small percentage of the skilled worker immigration program.
This move should help address that specific labour market concern, which will become an even larger issue facing the Canadian economy as baby-boomers retire in the next few years. According to the Petroleum Human Resources Council of Canada, the demand for workers should double over the coming decade.
Though in-demand workers have been applying through Provincial Nominee Programs and Canadian Experience Class, the new stream is expected to help fill the gaps and provide further avenues for the industry to obtain the labour it needs to flourish.
Source: Globe and Mail