Nisku, Alberta —The Harper Government is realigning the Temporary Foreign Worker Program to better meet labour market demands and support the economic recovery. The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, made the announcement today during a tour of Advance Engineered Products Ltd.’s manufacturing facility.
“Our government’s top priority is creating jobs, growth and long-term prosperity. That’s why we are taking action to ensure that the Temporary Foreign Worker Program supports our economic recovery and effectively responds to local labour market demands,” said Minister Finley. “Our government is looking at ways to make sure businesses recruit from the domestic workforce before hiring temporary foreign workers, while also reducing the paper burden and speeding up the processing time for employers that have short-term skilled labour needs.”
Employers with a strong track record will receive an Accelerated-Labour Market Opinion (A-LMO) within 10 business days to hire temporary foreign workers in high-skill occupations, including the skilled trades. The Temporary Foreign Worker Program will become more responsive to skills and labour shortages, employers will have less red tape and temporary foreign workers will benefit from enhanced protections. In addition, the Harper Government will propose legislative amendments to further strengthen protections for temporary foreign workers and ensure that employers comply with program requirements.
“This improvement is a direct result of consultations that were held with employers to discuss concerns with the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, and seek ideas on improving it. Going forward, our government will consider additional measures to strengthen and improve the program, so employers can get skilled workers when no Canadians are available,” said the Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism. “A fast and flexible economic immigration system combined with a strong Temporary Foreign Worker Program will sustain Canada’s economic growth and deliver prosperity for the future.”
The Harper Government will ensure that the employment of temporary foreign workers supports economic growth and helps create more opportunities for all Canadians.
“As North America’s premier manufacturer of bulk tank and vac equipment, our company’s success relies on the availability of highly skilled tradespeople—particularly welders and trailer mechanics,” said Ron Buchhorn, Vice-President of Human Resources at Advance Engineered Products Ltd. “We have been unable to recruit and train enough Canadians for our manufacturing and service facilities throughout western Canada because of the current highly competitive labour market. We strongly support this government initiative to expedite the hiring of skilled workers from other countries.”
“Today’s announcement by the federal government is welcomed news. This plan addresses industry’s immediate needs for skilled labour, but more importantly, by enabling projects to proceed, it fosters economic recovery and growth, while also creating permanent jobs for Canadians for decades to come,” said Ron Genereux, chair of the Association for Construction Workforce Acquisition.
Economic Action Plan 2012 also announced that the Harper Government will work in partnership with the provinces and territories, and other stakeholders, to further improve foreign credential recognition, so that internationally trained workers are able to find meaningful employment and, in turn, contribute to Canada’s economy and overall competitiveness.