Canadian construction employers have a new resource from the Construction Sector Council to assist in hiring immigrant workers to meet growing labour needs.
“We know from our labour market information work that looking into future immigration will play a big role in employment growth in Canada and construction will not be immune to that,” said George Gritziotis, executive director of CSC.
“We will be relying on all sorts of labour. Also, in some parts of the country, the industry looks at dealing with short-term peak demand by using temporary foreign workers.”
The Construction Employer’s Roadmap, is designed to help employers and others involved in human resources (HR) management navigate government programs, assess foreign credentials and help immigrant workers “put their best foot forward” when seeking opportunities Canadian construction.
“Foreign workers are playing a role not just in a temporary but also a permanent basis,” said Gritziotis. “What kind of capacity do our contractors have to hire and retain foreign trained workers? This road map will help industry where a majority of employers are small to medium businesses with less than 15 employees and do not have HR departments who take care of this.”
It provides information on the role of employment agencies and immigration consultants and an overview of Canada’s immigration programs. The guide also explains options for permanent residents, temporary residents and workers outside of Canada.
Simplicity, accuracy and efficiency about information and processes available were deemed most important by small to medium contractors consulted during the roadmap’s development. The roadmap also offers advice on how to assess experience obtained in other countries, make job offers, develop orientation programs and retain workers.
“It’s a ready-made approach and process contractors can use when they are looking to hire foreign workers,” added Gritziotis.
Development of the roadmap was funded by the Foreign Credential Referral Office of Citizenship and Immigration Canada. The guide is available in hard copy and electronically with hyperlinks to other useful resources and websites.
“Attracting and retaining the best international talent to address existing and future labour market challenges is critical to our economic success...we know that within the next few years, most of Canada’s labour force growth will come from immigration,” said Jason Kenney, Minister of Immigration, Citizenship and Multiculturalism.
Gritziotis said immigrant workers bring “many benefits to the industry” such as the ability to speak different languages, cultural knowledge and a network of connections which all can strengthen employer’s competitiveness.
“When construction was headed towards the 2008 boom, we were getting a lot of contractors asking for help with recruiting foreign workers,” added Gritziotis. “Now that activity is heating up, people are looking for this information.”
Visit www.csc-ca.org for more.