Skilled Immigrants, the Solution to Canada’s Labor Shortage

Labor shortage in Canada is reaching its peak, and it’s affecting business across all sectors. 


Data from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) shows that the vacancy rate reaches up to 3% in provinces like British Columbia, Quebec, and Ontario. The current unemployment rate across the country is roughly 5.8%, so it begs the question as to why there continues to be hundreds of thousands of vacancies each year.


Many factors influence these numbers, but the biggest issue is that workers lack the skills needed for these jobs.


Among the sectors with the highest job vacancy, the hospitality industry is in the top three according to a report by CFIB. Tourism and hospitality are a vital part of Canada’s economy. However, it appears that they are struggling to find and retain the staff needed to meet that demand. According to the president of Tourism HR Canada Philip Mondor, the demand for workers would grow by 41% by 2035, the labor force would only see a growth of 25%.


Many businesses go understaffed even during peak seasons. Some are increasing wages in order to prevent employees from leaving. New restaurants are opening in Canada, but they all have problems finding qualified chefs, servers, and managers. Actually, there’s a shortage of applicants in the food and beverage sector as a whole. 

Immigrants to Fill the Labor Gap

One solution they found was to increase employment for skilled immigrants. The government is already making plans that will allow them to take in 40,000 more immigrants by 2021, and a large part of their funding will be directed to economic programs that targets skilled workers.  


They already reevaluating their programs. The goal is to ease restrictions for foreign workers to make it easier for them to obtain permanent residence. New systems in place like the Express Entry System gives special priority to those economic immigrants and follows a point-based system, where those who ranked high can be granted permanent residence in just 6 months. Just last year, they also launched the Employing Newcomers in Canadian Hotels Pilot Project, which extends hotel jobs for immigrants and refugees. Stable residence and jobs will also make it easier for these workers to bring their families with them.


With these programs in place, the Canadian government creates a more favorable environment. Hopefully, it encourages skilled immigrants and international students in these fields to pursue work in the country.


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