Feds expand temporary foreign worker pilot project

21 occupations added to expedited labour market opinion program

The federal government has added 21 occupations to the expedited labour market opinion (E-LMO) pilot project, which makes it faster for employers in British Columbia and Alberta to hire foreign workers.

"The 33 occupations now included in this pilot represent 50 per cent of the total volume of labour market opinion applications from employers in B.C. and Alberta," said Minister of Human Resources and Social Development Monte Solberg.

The pilot project, which began last September and originally covered 12 specific occupations mainly in the health-care, hospitality and construction sectors, will continue to run in B.C. and Alberta until September 2008, allowing eligible employers to receive LMOs much faster than in the past.

Under the pilot project, LMOs are processed within five days of receipt of the application compared to a processing time of up to five months under the regular program.

The 33 occupations covered by the newly expanded pilot project have all been identified as being in high demand. Most of the 21 new occupations are in the construction, engineering, maintenance, sales and service, and manufacturing sectors.

To be eligible, employers must confirm the occupaiton for which they require the E-LMO is consistent with their principle business activities and they have been in operation for at least 12 months during which time they have employed at least one worker.

Occupations covered by E-LMO

(Note: New occupations are marked with an asterix)

• Carpenters;
• Crane Operators;
• Construction Labourers;*
• Steamfitters and Pipefitters; *
• Ironworkers;*
• Heavy-Duty Equipment Mechanics;*
• Machinists;*
• Roofers;*
• Industrial Electricians;*
• Welders;*
• Surveyor Helpers;*
• Commercial Janitors and Caretakers;*
• Specialized Cleaners;*
• Mechanical Engineers;*
• Civil Engineers;*
• Electrical and Electronics Engineers;*
• Petroleum Engineers;*
• Mechanical Engineering Technologists;*
• Hotel and Hospitality Room Attendants;
• Hotel Front Desk Clerks;
• Food and Beverage Servers;
• Food Counter Attendants;
• Food Service Supervisors;*
• Industrial Meat Cutters;*
• Courier Drivers;*
• Residential Cleaning and Support Workers;*
• Manufacturing and Processing Labourers;*
• Tour and Travel Guides;
• Registered Nurses;
• Dental Technicians;
• Pharmacists;
• Snowboard and Ski Instructors; and
• Retail Sales Persons and Sales Clerks.

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