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British Columbia construction industry fast-tracks skilled trades workers from Europe

the CanadaVisa Team - 17 July, 2015

European employees are hired in association with the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), which effectively speeds up an immigrant's work permit and landed immigrant application processing.

British Columbia (B.C) is currently undergoing a labour shortage that is affecting its booming construction industry. Canada's most western province will require a whopping 60,000 new workers, an increase in demand of 50 per cent by 2013. Advacing the charge is Canada's aging population, increased demand for technological skills and a "red-hot" Canadian construction industry. Several development projects are ramping up this year and next as B.C. prepares to complete several major facilities in time for the 2010 Winter Olympics.

The Canada West Foundation, an organization which makes recommendations on government policy, is promoting the use of the Provincial Nominee Program to help fill skill shortages in critical Canadian industries. Executive Vice-President for the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association of B.C., Philip Hochstein, believes that immigration is part of the solution to B.C.'s skilled-labour shortage.

In February, Vancouver's Regional Construction Association (VRCA) president, Keith Sashaw was promoting B.C immigration to Europeans in Germany, England, and Scotland. Sashaw's goal was to recruit journeymen-level employees who will fill the province's increasing job vacancies. "Right now, there's a demand for almost all trades in the construction industry," explains Sashaw.

CEO of the Greater Vancouver Home Builders Association, Peter Simpson wants the Province to do everything it can to increase "the pool of skilled labour," and says that BC "must look at all the options." BC's construction projects include venue infrastructures in advance of the 2010 Winter Olympics, the Vancouver Convention and Exhibition Centre expansion, the Sea-to-Sky Highway expansion, and the Canada rapid transit line between Vancouver Airport and downtown. New-home construction is also expected to remain strong throughout the period.


Canada's labour crunch has it facing one of the most serious shortages of skilled workers in the industrial world. A recent Manpower inc. poll of Canadian small and enterprise-level business highlights the growing trend. Second only to Mexico, sixty-six per cent of Canadian employers cannot find qualified staff. Well below the global average, Canada has its aging population and declining birth rate to blame.

One of the ways in which the Canadian government is addressing this burgeoning problem is by increasing federal immigration levels in both the Skilled-worker, and Temporary worker categories, respectively. The B.C. provincial nominee program allows provincial governments more leverage in determining their regional immigration needs. The "strategic occupations" categories of BC's PNP allow the Province's Government to select highly skilled immigrants to fill critical labour shortages.

Work Employer British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program