12 December 2006

Calls for Canada to accept low skilled workers too

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB)is calling on the Government to revise their immigration policies to allow some low-skilled and unskilled workers to settle in Canada.

The CFIB made more than 50 recommendations on how to improve immigration and minimise red tape for businesses after a study it commissioned found that in some areas of the country more than three-quarters of businesses are suffering from labour shortages.

This has forced some businesses to operate with fewer employees and turn work away due to a lack of manpower, with fears by businessmen that the shortage will worsen.

In its report, Immigration and Small Business: Ideas to Better Respond to Canada's Skills and Labour Shortage, it reveals 91 per cent of small and medium enterprise labour shortages are in non-professional categories, while 65 per cent of economic immigrants are in the professional category.

Allowing low-skilled workers the opportunity to become a permanent resident would be especially effective in helping solve the labour shortage the report argued, as well as making it easier for temporary foreign workers to attain permanent residency.

"The jobs that Canadian employers have in most short supply -- particularly small- and medium-sized firms -- are in that medium-skilled category, in the trades and, increasingly in provinces like this, at the entry level, and the immigration system is not at all geared to bridge that gap," Dan Kelly, CFIB vice-president for Western Canada, told the Chapel Hill News.

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