government has launched a two-year pilot project to use foreign workers to help
offset serious labour shortages within the tourism, hospitality and trucking
A press release issued
by the Ministry of Economic Development states that the pilot project, which
falls within the B.C. Provincial Nominee Program, will help retain workers
recruited internationally by offering expedited access for permanent residency
for nominees, as well as their spouses and dependents.
“The trucking and
tourism/hospitality industries play a critical role in our export-oriented
economy, and are experiencing persistent labour shortages,” Minister Colin
Hansen said in the release. “B.C.’s labour shortages are no longer limited to
Industry growth patterns
project B.C.’s tourism and hospitality industry will need 84,000 additional
workers within the next decade – that’s an average of one job every hour for
the next ten years.
Almost 37,000 new
professional drivers are needed across Canada each year, with at least 4,500 in
Hansen says B.C. is
relying more on temporary foreign workers to meet labour shortages, but points
out that temporary workers don’t provide a permanent solution to long-term
associations asked us to use the Provincial Nominee Program to help them retail
valued foreign workers and reduce the loss of productivity and the ongoing
costs of continuously having to replace temporary foreign workers,” Hansen
The new program is open
to eligible employers in the specified industries, and to temporary foreign
workers in entry-level and semi-skilled occupations who have worked for their
B.C. employer for at least nine months.
The Nominee Program
plans to closely monitor compliance and employee retention, and to undertake a
comprehensive review of the new project before the end of the two-year period.