Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Feds open door for more foreign workers

The federal government is opening doors for more temporary foreign workers and is easing the application process.

The cap for employers is being lifted from 10 to 20 per cent of the workforce that can be temporary foreign workers. 

That’s a change that the meat-packing industry has been seeking.

The cap for low-wage workers will be raised to 30 per cent for one year.

The government is also planning to remove a cap on the number of low-wage positions that employers in seasonal industries, such as fish and seafood processing, can fill through the program. Employers will now be able to keep TFWs in these positions for 270 days, instead of the current 180 days.

It is also speeding the process; employers, such as farmers, often faced waits of months after filing applications.

"The coalition of leading Canadian food and beverage manufacturing associations and their members applaud the federal government for taking concrete action to address the debilitating labour crisis impacting Canada's food supply," the Canadian Meat Council, Food and Beverage Canada, the Baking Association of Canada and other groups said in a statement.

Canadian employers were recruiting for roughly 915,000 positions in the fourth quarter of 2021, an increase of 80 per cent over the number of openings two years prior, according to Statistics Canada. 

In December, the labour need was particularly acute in three industries, each of which had more than 100,000 open positions: accommodation and food services, retail, and health care and social assistance.