British Columbia Tourism Seeking Workers from the Philippines
The Canadian recruitment agencies that BCYHA has hired are presently recruiting 300 Filipino workers to bring to Canada for the 2007-2008 tourist season.
This group of Filipinos will be among the first to benefit from the new Temporary Foreign Worker Program rules that were instated at the end of February by Human Resource and Social Development (HRSDC). HRSDC is streamlining work permit processing and has revised domestic recruitment rules with a new Regional Occupations Under Pressure list. Canadian employers can now apply online for federal permission to recruit internationally.
Beyond the fees that BCYHA employers pay to the recruitment firms, the expenses covered by these Canadian employers often include return airfare, local healthcare expenses, and the cost of the work permit. With the new Temporary Foreign Worker Program rule that extends work permits from one to two years, all of these expenses can be amortized over a longer period.
"Worker shortage is a crisis, not just a challenge," states the director of an up-market inn in Tofino, of one of British Columbia's surfing destinations. British Columbia’s tourism industry is gearing up for a long-term plan for foreign worker recruitment.
The British Columbia and Yukon Hotel Association (BCYHA) is actively recruiting Filipino workers through Canadian recruitment agencies. Of its 580 member organizations, 79 per cent will be hiring this year. Given that many BCYHA members have spent thousands of dollars this year on unsuccessful attempts at hiring Canadians, the bulk of their new employees will likely be foreign workers.