Canadian Building Trades praises Minister Kenney for Skilled Trades initiatives in the Federal Skilled Worker Program
OTTAWA, April 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ – The Canadian Building Trades commends
Minister Kenney for his announcement April 10(th) creating focus on skilled trades in the Federal Skilled Worker Program
(FSWP). The skilled trades traditionally have not been able to access
this program due to the complexities and rigidness of the 100 point
grid system used by Citizenship and Immigration.
Robert Blakely, Director of Canadian Affairs, says “this is a landmark
change for skilled trades professionals who want to apply to come to
Canada on a permanent basis. Our economy is challenged with producing
enough people domestically to meet industrial demand – it is a natural
fit to realign, in a positive way, the rules to come to Canada to
assist with this demand. Previously, prospective applicants to Canada
who were proficient in a skilled trade had very little hope with the
way the “Points” system was structured.
John Telford, Canadian Director of United Association of Plumbers and
Pipefitters (UA) says “this initiative will assist in the long term
replenishing an aging workforce -it is part of the solution for the
labour demand issue. The Building Trade unions spend more than $250
million dollars annually on training young Canadians – it is important
the Government of Canada understand immigration alone can’t fix
construction labour market issues. Training of underrepresented groups
in construction like aboriginals and women need to be a policy focus.
Blakely says this is a good start to address the coming labour crunch
and “we look forward to working with the Government of Canada on the
other industry priorities. A “hive out” system for skilled trades short
term immigration from the United States is widely supported by the
energy industry, construction contractors and the Canadian Building
Trades Unions. Given the current economic situation in the United
States and Canada’s industrial demand, this would be a win-win. It was
anticipated by industry in the Beyond the Border Working Group
initiative and then the subsequent federal 2012 Budget.
About the BCTD
The North America-wide BCTD AFL-CIO (American Federation of Labour -
Congress of Industrial Organizations) coordinates activities and
provides resources to 15 affiliated trade unions in the construction,
maintenance and fabrication industries. In Canada, the BCTD represents
500,000 skilled trades workers.
SOURCE Building & Construction Trades Department, AFL-CIO