Eight of Canada’s largest urban Chambers of Commerce and Boards of Trade are calling on all parties running in the 2019 federal election to implement better skills training for foreign workers and promote effective immigration policies.
The Canadian Global Cities Council (CGCC) recommends that all campaigning parties commit to more adequate talent development strategies. Some of the endorsements include encouraging more trades participation, boosting Indigenous workforce participation, creating incentives for continued skill improvement, and expanding access to affordable childcare.
“Canada’s tight labour market is under pressure by an aging workforce, declining workforce participation rate, stagnating wages, and growing skill gaps,” said Michel Leblanc, president of the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal, in a media release. “We need to double down on strategic investment in Canadians and smart immigration policies.”
In order to solve labour force shortages and ensure that businesses have access to talent, the CGCC says that the government should focus on the facilitative administration of immigration. They also say the Global Skills Strategy, which features faster application processing times and work permit exemptions, should be maintained and expanded. In addition, the federal government should implement sector-specific open work permits for Temporary Foreign Workers.
The Council also recommends that steps be taken to retain international students, improve credential recognition and introduce a Trusted Employer Program to streamline applications for businesses with a proven track record.
“Canada has made its mark on the international scene for the quality of its educational network, the flexibility of its immigration system, and its capacity for innovation,” Leblanc said in the release. “We need to leverage these assets to improve the training, attraction and retention of talent.”
The CGCC members represent half of Canada’s GDP and population. Their goal is to help influence national policies and build competitive and sustainable urban economies. Participating cities include Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Brampton, Toronto, Montreal, and Halifax.
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