News Release: Alberta Enterprise Group welcomes changes to Temporary Foreign Worker Program
April 25th, 2012
Edmonton, AB: Alberta Enterprise Group (AEG) is applauding changes announced today by the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, during a tour of Nisku-based Westech Vac Systems.
Minister Finley announced changes to the Temporary Foreign Workers Program that will enable qualified employers to more quickly and efficiently access the workers they need.
The Alberta government is forecasting there will be 114,000 more jobs than people to fill them in coming years, a trend which is increasingly evident across Western Canada. This shortage of labour will slow economic growth, costing jobs and reducing government revenue to support vital government social and economic programs such as hospitals, schools and roads. AEG has asked the federal and provincial governments to engage quickly with employers in developing and implementing new strategies to help overcome the expected shortage.
Over the past few years, government and industry have effectively worked together to ensure Canadians are given the first chance to benefit from these opportunities. These initiatives include:
- Supporting training and outreach initiatives such as apprenticeship.
- Actively recruiting workers across Canada, seeking to employ Canadians who have the necessary skills and who are prepared to come to Alberta.
- Pursuing continuous improvement and maximizing the productivity of business operations to make the best use of existing staff.
Despite these ongoing efforts, there remains a shortfall of available workers domestically to fill the needs of the growing economy and AEG members are feeling the pinch.
“The changes announced today are a step in the right direction for employers,” said AEG President Tim Shipton. “We’re pleased we have a willing partner in the Federal government and Minister Finley to work with to make the necessary modifications to the program. We’re optimistic these changes will make the program more responsive, reduce red tape, and ultimately help meet the needs of both employers and prospective employees.”
AEG is Alberta’s common sense public policy advocacy organization
dedicated to lasting prosperity and strong communities. AEG members employ
55,000 Canadians in the energy, manufacturing, construction and retail
industries and generate billions in economic activity each year.
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