TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Feb 12, 2014) - According to the Canadian Employee Relocation Council (CERC), the new federal budget fails to address the growing skills gap impacting Canadian business.
"While the budget included some positive steps to boost apprenticeship and skills training, there are no immediate measures to address the serious problems firms are experiencing in filling highly skilled jobs today," said Stephen Cryne, President and CEO, Canadian Employee Relocation Council (CERC ). "In fact, the government is putting more roadblocks in front of employers with today's announcement."
A closer look at the budget reveals that the government is proposing to restrict employers in areas of high unemployment from using the much maligned Temporary Foreign Worker Program.
"It's simply the wrong approach and may result in firms in need of high skills that are not available locally, moving operations," added Cryne.
Based on a recent members' poll, CERC has new evidence to suggest businesses are already feeling the impact of restrictions the government imposed on employers looking to recruit workers from overseas in 2013.
- over a third reported lost business since the changes were introduced
- almost one third have had to move work outside Canada
- majority face high costs and long delays in the completion of critical contracts
Call to Action:
CERC believes it's time for meaningful dialogue around Canada's skills gap and the role labour mobility can play in addressing the issue. Specifically, CERC believes the government should:
- reinstitute a fast track approval system for recruiting skilled foreign workers to help address skills gaps in parts of the economy
- upgrade Canadian tax policies to provide more supports for workers and their families to move from areas with higher rates of unemployment to areas where job opportunities exist
- expand current tax rules for temporary living expenses for employees that are commuting long distances for employment.
The Canadian Employee Relocation Council (CERC) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to removing barriers that restrict mobility and deployment of human capital, which are vitally important to Canada's future prosperity. Established in 1982, the Council represents the interests of its members on workforce mobility matters. Many of the Council's members are listed in Canada's Financial Post Top 500.