Immigration policies out of sync with needs (On immigration)

Policy and delivery mechanism not designed to deliver employees with the skills that are in short supply
By Howard Greenberg
|CHRR, Report on Recruitment & Staffing|Last Updated: 05/21/2006

The job shortage that has been so acute in Alberta’s oil patch is starting to spread across the country. There is a tangible shortage of skilled workers in many sectors. The shortage is not only noticed in highly skilled services such as the financial services and engineering sectors, but also in relatively low-skilled occupations that Canadians are not prepared to assume.

The options available to employers are limited. Canadian educational institutions can meet the challenge of providing key skills, but certainly not in sufficient numbers to permit employers to remain competitive. This must be addressed by developing appropriate education programs and skill delivery mechanisms to meet both the short-term and long-term needs of business.

A viable option, one that should work well with developing local labour pools, involves tapping into foreign labour pools. Attracting individuals with key skills should permit employers to fill market gaps relatively quickly. Recruitment of foreign workers can produce immediate results.