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June 2016      


ACEC seeks improvements to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program


ACEC member firms have raised concerns over frequent shortages of qualified and experienced high-skill labour in Canada requiring engineering and construction firms to look abroad for prospective employees. They have also found that advertising requirements for the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) are onerous and unproductive. Hiring foreign workers also requires a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), which is resource and labour intensive and in many cases unnecessary. These requirements can take 18 – 24 months and are major impediments to hiring qualified and otherwise available workers.

In a submission to the House of Commons Steering Committee on Human Resources and Skills Development, ACEC has recommended solutions to the program that address its members’ concerns, including:

  • Providing a separate stream for foreign workers with specific high skills in areas such as engineering and related science and technology disciplines that is not wrapped-up in red tape.
  • Deem high-skill workers with valid work permits who have been working in Canada for more than one year to have a qualifying job offer for Express Entry, without the employer having to repost the job.
  • Provide international students graduating from Canadian universities in science, engineering or management studies a clear and rapid path to permanent residency. Allow these students to qualify for Express Entry into the TFWP.

Learn more in the ACEC policy brief approved by the ACEC Board of Directors.