I have been writing and speaking about this issue for years – the labour shortage. This week the B.C. Construction of Association announced that it will be recruiting 600 trades’ people from Ireland.
In the coming years one out of three positions will need to be filled by immigrants who are not even here yet, according to Statistics Canada.
This situation is so dire strait that even if one out of five students graduating from high school today wanted to pursue careers in the trades, even then there will still be a shortage. Imagine what it is going to be like when the recession is over or when other projects in western Canada such as LNG pipeline and ship building commence?
There are many reasons why British Columbia is facing a labour shortage due to from low birth rates to not training young people in the trades to not having more apprenticeship, etc.
On one hand we now have an acute labor shortage which will eventually hit other parts of Canada. However, on the other hand qualified immigrants are working at survival jobs because their education and qualifications are not recognized.
To make matters worse certain Canadians or new immigrants from certain ethnic backgrounds cannot even get a call for a job interview. A recent study conducted by Professor Philip Oreopoulos where mock resumes were sent to advertisements positions in Montreal, Vancouver and Toronto.
The study revealed that applicants with ethnic names, especially East Indian and Chinese had almost 35 percent less chance of getting a call for a job an interview, never mind getting the job.
Attitudes of the HR personnel and business owners need to change because in the coming years not only Canada, but other western nations will battle over the same talent.