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1 Labour Mobility of the Skilled Trades European Union / Canada Roundtable Brussels, Belgium September 29-30, 2009

2 Construction Marketplace

3 Workforce Realities 1,400 '000s 1,300 1,200 1, : +350,000 workers 60% increase in construction employment, Canada 1, Labour Force Employment Source: Statistics Canada and Construction Sector Council

4 Workforce Realities 1,200,000 1,100,000 1,000, , , , , ,000 History Medium Term Long Term , Labour Force Employment Unemployment Rate (Right Axis) CSC trades are 75% of the Construction Industry Source: Construction Sector Council, Construction Looking Forward,

5 Workforce Realities Next Decade: Cumulative Retirements as a % of 2008 Labour Force CAN* BC AB SK MB ON QC NB NS PEI NL 18% 18% 15% 16% 17% 17% 20% 23% 23% 22% 28% 0% 3% 5% 8% 10% 13% 15% 18% 20% 23% 25% 28% 30% Source: Construction Sector Council, Construction Looking Forward,

6 Workforce Strategy 1. Labour Market Efficiency (supply = demand); 2. Labour Supply (youth, immigrant worker (permanent and temporary),, aboriginal, women, older workers); 3. Labour Quality (improving the skill level of the worker); 4. Labour Mobility (inter and intra provincial, other domestic sectors, other countries) 5. Labour Productivity (maximize the potential of the workplace safety, R&D, innovation etc...)

7 Labour Mobility Importance of Mobility in Construction: 18% of Nova Scotia tradespersons worked out of province over 12 month period Atlantic Economic Council Carpenters 14.7%, Sheet Metal Workers 8% over 12 month period CSC and National Labour Market Studies High mobility trades usually industrial focus: Boilermakers Welders Electricians Pipe Trades Operating Engineers

8 Labour Mobility Importance of Mobility in Construction: What we heard from industry... Perceived importance differs by region, by trade and sector; Atlantic region and Alberta attach high importance to mobility; Ontario and Quebec view themselves as meeting their own labour supply requirements internally; Compulsory trades attach high importance, while voluntary trades less importance; Civil, pipeline and industrial attach high importance; For residential, mobility much less importance

9 Labour Mobility Importance of Mobility in Construction: What we heard from industry... Red Seal system is seen by industry as facilitating mobility -- laying out a process that is the same for everyone, whether initial training was in Canada or abroad However, concern that certain high demand trades are not compulsory in all jurisdictions and not covered by Red Seal (e.g., tower crane operator) As well, the level of regulation varies from one jurisdiction to another with Quebec and Alberta being the most heavily regulated Many trades are voluntary or unregulated where certification is not available

10

11 Foreign Trained Workers Foreign Trained Skilled Trades Workers.... permanent and temporary... Foreign-trained skilled trades workers are an important potential source of labour for construction General industry view is that foreign trained workers as a source of labour is being left untapped largely due to an inconsistent, informal method of assessing foreign credentials in construction Industry concerned on how foreign worker credentials are assessed and recognized

12 Temporary Foreign Workers Temporary Foreign Workers (TFWs).... TFWs help meet short term demand Temporary foreign workers fill critical human resource gaps within the Canadian construction industry during peak investment Being utilized as a provincial / territorial / regional solution to meet demand for construction services and resulting from growing retirement rates TFWs were meeting peak demand needs, especially in Alberta, British Columbia, and Ontario

13 Temporary Foreign Workers C o u n tr y o f L as t Kn o w n Pe r m an e n t A d d r e s s T e m p o r ar y Fo r e ig n W o r k e r s En te r in g C an ad a ( ) 0 Fin lan d Hu n g ar y C h ile Slo vak M alays ia In d ia Sw itz e lan d Uk r ain e C h in a So u th A fr ica Italy Po r tu g al Ro m an ia Po lan d M e xico Ge r m an y Ph ilip in e s Un k o w n UK US 4,851 TFWs worked in the Canadian construction industry in 2004/2005 4,351 came from a total of 20 countries Over 50%, 2,553 of these workers came from just four countries: 1,366 United States 439 United Kingdom 439 Philippines Germany

14 Temporary Foreign Workers Considerable investment bringing TFWs into Canada - borne by the industry (employer and labour groups) and the foreign worker Estimates range between $12,000 to $18,000 to bring in a TFW Anecdotal information from industry interviews Examples include industry time and effort of navigating through a complex system and the hard costs borne by the TFW applying for a work permit

15 Temporary Foreign Workers TFW Program Successes, Challenges, Gaps: System is complex requires expertise to navigate Certain amount of misinformation and misconceptions circulating, in part a result of a rapidly changing situation Different perspectives on how well it is working Many stakeholders want more monitoring and enforcement Government human resources insufficient to meet increased demands

16 Temporary Foreign Workers Services and Support Gaps Clear, accurate, up-to to-date information Ongoing efforts needed to adjust the Canadian immigration system Support to small and medium-sized firms Increased effective reporting, monitoring and enforcement Support for worker rights and responsibilities Partnerships with Immigrant Serving Agencies

17 Foreign Credential Recognition Foreign Credential Recognition Process: Eight key findings: 1. Assessment process used for Canadian trained workers is the same for foreign-trained workers, with limited attention to the needs of foreign workers; 2. Limited trade-specific information for immigrating tradespersons; 3. No systematic approach across Canada to reviewing trade credentials; 4. Language a limiting factor to becoming certified;

18 Foreign Credential Recognition Foreign Credential Recognition Process: Eight key findings (continued): 5. Supportive programs needed (e.g., PLAR, language and essential skills training); 6. Immigrant serving agencies need better information on construction and the trades; 7. Lack of coordination among the key players (industry and government); 8. Addressing the foreign workers issue should be part of a larger supply side strategy for construction (e.g., youth, aboriginals, women etc...)

19 Foreign Credential Recognition Some positive Directions.... Ontario Ministry of Training Colleges and Universities developed an online guide for foreign trained tradespersons Alberta Only province with dedicated centres to assess foreign trained tradespersons administer trades exams and review qualifications in country of origin Saskatchewan Does a thorough assessment of foreign trained tradespersons recognizes cultural differences in exam preparation support New Brunswick New Brunswick Promoting to tradespersons abroad apprenticeship offices reviewing administration to meet future labour supply from abroad

20 Foreign Credential Recognition

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