From many peoples strength: international recruitment as a workforce solution.JOBS TO FILL
There is a growing labour market challenge in the province - one that has both immediate and future implications. For example, the SaskJobs website currently lists more than 11,500 jobs open and available. At the current rate of growth and considering the demographics of impending im·pend
intr.v. im·pend·ed, im·pend·ing, im·pends
1. To be about to occur: Her retirement is impending.
2. retirements, as many as 75,000 to 90,000 jobs are going to open up in Saskatchewan within approximately the next five years.
Who's going to fill all these jobs? For decades, Saskatchewan has been a net exporter of people-more than 800,000 left since the early 1970s. Only recently have the tides begun to turn as more people have started moving here. Many of them are former residents who have now returned home.
We're also training our young people, including the rapidly growing First Nations and Metis Metis (mē`tĭs), in astronomy, one of the 39 known moons, or natural satellites, of Jupiter.
goddess of caution and discretion. [Rom. Myth.: Wheeler, 242]
See : Prudence youth population. But training and gaining experience takes time and many of these projects need seasoned workers and mentors right now. That means the key - or at least one of the keys, along with training our current residents - is going to be to attract skilled workers here from other parts of the world.
"If we're going to try to reach our full potential, we don't want to do that alone says Rob Norris, former Minister of Advanced Education, Employment and Immigration immigration, entrance of a person (an alien) into a new country for the purpose of establishing permanent residence. Motives for immigration, like those for migration generally, are often economic, although religious or political factors may be very important. for Saskatchewan. "We need to open our homes and our hearts and our communities to others from around the world and across the country to meet this opportunity."
FEELING THE PINCH
As the baby boom generation moves toward retirement, the labour market squeeze is becoming ever tighter. "[Today], 100 per cent of net growth in the Canadian workforce is due to immigration, and by 2030, 100 per cent of net population growth in Canada will be due to immigration. As we continue to work together with our First Nations and Metis population, immigration will be vital to maintaining a prosperous country." (quote from Saskatchewan's Immigration Strategy, reporting data from Statistics Canada and the Conference Board of Canada The Conference Board of Canada is a not-for-profit Canadian organization dedicated to researching and analyzing economic trends, as well as organizational performance and public policy issues. )
Saskatchewan companies are already feeling the pinch, especially in sectors like transportation, hospitality, health, and construction and manufacturing - anything with a focus on skilled tradespeople trades·peo·ple
1. People engaged in retail trade.
2. Skilled workers.
Noun 1. tradespeople - people engaged in trade .
Alliance Energy, one of the largest electrical contracting companies in the province, is busier than ever these days. One of their projects is to manage the electrical components for the $1.8 billion expansion of the Agrium potash potash: see potassium carbonate.
Name used for various inorganic compounds of potassium, chiefly the carbonate (K2CO3), a white crystalline material formerly obtained from wood ashes. mine at Vanscoy, SK. "For this project, we are predicting a crew size of 450 electricians for next year, so we need to do a significant amount of hiring," says Alliance Energy's president, Bryan Leverick. An understatement when you consider the company's current staff totals 320.
Happily, there are many who would like to be electricians in this province. But to become a full-fledged electrician - a 'designated trade' here - candidates must complete a four-year, 1,800 hours-per-year apprenticeship under a journeyman electrician. The trade is regulated so that a certified (journeyman) electrician can only supervise one or two apprentices.
"At any given time, we have 100 to 200 resumes of people wanting to start their first day as an apprentice electrician," Leverick says. "Company-wide, we're probably hiring five to ten every quarter and working them into the system, but obviously we can't take on too many because they don't have the skills yet. And we have to have enough journeymen to hire more apprentices."
That's where the shortage is. Alliance has already launched a radio campaign on six radio stations in Saskatchewan The following is a list of radio stations in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan, as of 2006. Black Lake
JNE JNE Ja Niin Edelleen (Finnish: Et Cetera)
JNE Jump If Not Equal
JNE Journal of Nursing Education
JNE Journal of Negro Education (Howard University)
JNE Journal of Nutrition Education Welding is another business that is looking to source workers from outside the country. The company provides custom welding and fabricating to the mining, oilsands and utilities sectors and recently won the Employee Retention award from the North Saskatoon Saskatoon (săskətn`), city (1991 pop. 186,058), S central Sask., Canada, on the South Saskatchewan River. Business Association.
Jim Nowakowski, president of JNE Welding, notes that welders are in high demand, especially in western Canada
Western Canada, commonly referred to as the West . "We think that we're going to end up with increased workloads going into the second half of 2012 and the potential is fantastic for 2013. I have my sights set on increasing staff levels to about 175. So we've got to do a good job of retaining current staff as well as adding another 20 to 25 people. That isn't going to happen strictly from the local market."
THE EMERALD ISLE Emerald Isle
Noun 1. Emerald Isle - an island comprising the republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland
Hibernia, Ireland MEETS RIDER GREEN
In March 2012, 27 Saskatchewan employers and representatives from the provincial government undertook a recruitment mission to Ireland.
Ireland was chosen because it has a respected post-secondary and skills training system similar to Canada's. It also has a lot of people that are looking for work. By December 2011, unemployment in Ireland rose to 14.4 per cent and the Irish Economic and Social Research Institute The Economic and Social Research Institute in Ireland produces research focusing on Ireland's economic and social development in order to inform policy-making and societal understanding. predicted that 75,000 Irish will emigrate em·i·grate
intr.v. em·i·grat·ed, em·i·grat·ing, em·i·grates
To leave one country or region to settle in another. See Usage Note at migrate. in 2012.
The Saskatchewan delegation attended career fairs in Dublin and Cork and were expecting about 9,000 qualified candidates in trades and construction, engineering and health sciences. Instead, almost 20,000 people turned out over the course of three days. "They didn't just walk down the street," recalls Rob Norris, who along with Premier Brad Wall Brad Wall (born November 24, 1965 in Swift Current, Saskatchewan) is a Canadian politician, leader of the Saskatchewan Party, and leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition in the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan. accompanied the mission. "A lot of these people drove four and five hours; many brought their kids and a lot of those people stood in the rain for the chance to talk about opportunities."
Norris, who, before the recent cabinet shuffle In the parliamentary system a cabinet shuffle is an informal term for an event that occurs when a head of government rotates or changes the composition of ministers in his or her cabinet. was the minister responsible for SaskPower, explains that the provincial utility took part in the mission because it too is forecasting a talent shortage. "We were hoping for between 25 and 35 qualified applicants. We came back with 500 resumes, all qualified," he reports.
A team from JNE Welding attended the mission. "It was a bit of an experiment on our part," says Jim Nowakowski, who said his staff were impressed with the skills of many people who attended the fair, but were also impacted by witnessing the effects of the Irish recession. "A lot of people were very desperate. It was quite an emotional experience, actually."
Alliance Energy was also part of the delegation. "We wanted to go over and see if there was opportunity for us there-and there certainly was. They definitely had the skills we're looking for. Four hundred electricians could have been hired that day," reports Bryan Leverick.
Alliance is testing the waters by hiring a dozen of the electricians they interviewed during the mission. "We're going to start with 12 and see what that process is like and how long it takes to for them to get here and get their license. If it works out, we'll go back and hire more," he says.
THE MAZE OF RULES
Clearly, hiring international workers is not simply a matter of offering a handshake and a plane ticket. Immigrating to Canada requires navigating through an intricate maze of government programs and paperwork in multiple jurisdictions. Many companies choose to work with recruiting and immigration firms that have not only the contacts to find workers, but the expertise to wade through the profusion of rules and regulations for a solution that best suits a company's needs.
Generally speaking, people who wish to immigrate im·mi·grate
v. im·mi·grat·ed, im·mi·grat·ing, im·mi·grates
To enter and settle in a country or region to which one is not native. See Usage Note at migrate.
v.tr. must be a skilled worker or professional; someone with recent work experience in Canada; an entrepreneur or investor; sponsored by a family member who is a permanent resident; or be nominated by one of the provinces or territories.
It's this last one, known here as the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP SINP Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics
SINP Software Integration Plan ), that is intended to be a quicker way to facilitate landed immigrant status from the federal government, if applicants meet certain economy-driven criteria laid out by the province. In addition to being a vehicle for current Saskatchewan residents to recommend highly-skilled family members, the SINP also targets skilled workers, health professionals, entrepreneurs, farm owner/operators, students, long haul Long distance. Long haul implies traversing a state or a country. Contrast with short haul. truck drivers, and a pilot project is underway to attract workers in the hospitality sector.
'Quicker' is of course relative. The bottom line is that all landed immigrants, no matter which path of entry they take, must be vetted by the federal government in the areas of security, criminality and health. That takes time. Plus, both federal and provincial officials must verify that the applicants meet all the criteria of the program they're accessing, which is also time-consuming. Once an applicant is accepted to the SINP, their nomination is forwarded to Citizenship and Immigration Canada for a decision on whether and when the person can immigrate. Depending on the country workers are immigrating from, this process can take anywhere from three months (uncommon, but does happen for certain situations or countries) to eight months (much more common) to more than a year (sometimes happens, especially for countries such as the Ukraine, Philippines and India).
The lengthy waiting times are one of the biggest challenges for employers hiring foreign workers foreign workers
Those who work in a foreign country without initially intending to settle there and without the benefits of citizenship in the host country. Some are recruited to supplement the workforce of a host country for a limited term or to provide skills on a .
"In Saskatchewan in general, employers need workers right now," observes Iryna Matsiuk, general manager for the Canadian office of International Labor Centre, a company that specializes in sourcing workers from Ireland, Ukraine and Eastern Europe Eastern Europe
The countries of eastern Europe, especially those that were allied with the USSR in the Warsaw Pact, which was established in 1955 and dissolved in 1991. . "When we talk to employers, many tell us they're not sure what their labour needs will look like in 12 months, so it's sometimes difficult to sign these offers to guarantee that they will have jobs a year later. But with the demand for skilled workers growing on a daily basis, recruiting foreign workers is just a matter of wise HR planning."
Even more frustrating is that sometimes the system moves quickly, but it doesn't seem consistent from application to application and it is near impossible to determine how far along an application is once it is in the system.
"Everything we can do to help shorten that time and find those efficiencies, we do that on a continual basis," assures Rob Norris, who has worked on the immigration file for the past four and a half years. "The federal government vets for three things: security, criminality and health. They have to do their due diligence Research; analysis; your homework. This term has caught on in all industries, because it sounds so "wired." Who would want to do analysis or research when they can do due diligence. See wired. ; there's no way around it. I have a great deal of empathy for the employers and our task is to make sure we can do this as quickly as we can, but we also need to preserve the integrity of the system of immigration. That's absolutely key."
In early May, the provincial government introduced changes that are intended to further streamline the SINP, including putting a priority on applications from workers with 'high skills' (skilled trades, technical, professional and management occupations) in order to address skills shortages.
Another change was to introduce legislation to protect foreign workers and to regulate recruiters and immigration consultants. It's an area that sometimes lends itself to scams and fraud. On one side, there are employers who may not be familiar with the intricate rules of immigration, work visas and foreign credentials. On the other, there are people sometimes desperate to escape their home situation and where under-the-table payments and corrupt officials are commonplace.
A registry of approved consultants and recruiters is a good idea, says Michael Lieffers, president of International ManPower and vice-president of Mercan Group, one of Canada's largest international recruitment and immigration firms. "It's going to hold people accountable. It would keep it on a level playing ground for the participants. Let's just have some rules and follow them."
FINDING THE RIGHT WORKERS
Many companies begin the process by hiring temporary foreign workers who may later work toward their permanent residency Permanent residency refers to a person's visa status: the person is allowed to reside indefinitely within a country despite not having citizenship. A person with such status is known as a permanent resident. , but to do so, the federal government requires an employer to have a positive "Labour Market Opinion" (LMO LMO Localized Molecular Orbital
LMO Low Mars Orbit (NASA)
LMO Last Man Out
LMO Logistics Management Office (USACE)
LMO Legal Maintenance Organization
LMO Leave Me One (a message) ). Essentially, a positive LMO means that the employer has made every effort to hire qualified Canadians before looking to international recruits.
"Different countries have different options; different occupations have different options," Lieffers explains. "We work to achieve a really good understanding at the beginning of what the company needs so that we can come up with a proposal, which may offer multiple options. Some occupations only have one option."
Where in the world to find workers depends on a host of factors, including the skills needed and the economy and political situation of the country in question. Sourcing the right employees is much more than simply gathering a few resumes from contacts overseas.
"We try to put the right people in the right jobs for the right companies," says Denis Denis, king of Portugal: see Diniz. Prud'homme, president of Prudhomme International, a recruiting and immigration company that places workers in all types of fields in Saskatchewan and has special expertise in sourcing French-speaking candidates.
"It's not easy to find the right people he explains. "You have to develop such good processes and you can't miss any steps. You have to really be diligent."
The job starts with determining what a company's needs are. It's vital for an employer to be crystal clear on what kind of employees they are looking for. Jim Nowakowski remembers when his company hired international workers about six years ago. "The first time around, we relied on our recruiters to bring us people with the right skill set and we were not as clear as we needed to be. So, yes, we got welders and fabricators, but the range was way too wide and there was an awful lot of training that had to happen. It was very onerous when they arrived. They were very good learners, but a lot of them were nowhere near as capable as we needed them to be. That was our fault. You need to be very specific about what you're looking for."
Prud'homme works with employers to do 'performance profiling: "We ask the employer to describe superior performance. What does that look like? If we tell these immigrants what superior performance is like, they're going to strive for that, but if they don't know, then how do you strive for it?"
Just as any HR manager can attest to, skill is important, but so is the Tit' of the employee to the company and the position. "You need to do a really good job of matching the candidate with the job, but you need to look inside that candidate as well," says Michael Lieffers at IMP (Interface Message Processor) The first router used in the ARPAnet. It was a Honeywell 516 minicomputer with special interfaces and software written by BBN.
of the Perverse perversity as motive for men’s actions. [Am. Lit. . "If they're coming to be a nurse in Saskatoon but their husband's an underwater welder, this isn't the right place for them. If they only like the big city and you're going to put them in smalltown Saskatchewan, you've made a significant error. They're not going to last, or they're only going to last to a certain point and then they're gone."
When they find a promising candidate, the next thing a recruiting company does is determine if the worker is eligible to immigrate, which involves a health test, a criminal records check and in most cases, verification of a worker's training and skills.
"Sometimes we're working with employers whose existing employees in Canada have a connection to people in the Ukraine, and they ask us why we can't we just bring them over," reports Iryna Matsiuk with ILC ILC International Law Commission (United Nations)
ILC International Linear Collider
ILC Independent Living Centre
ILC Independent Living Center
ILC Industrial Loan Company
ILC International Land Coalition . "But when we start talking to Noun 1. talking to - a lengthy rebuke; "a good lecture was my father's idea of discipline"; "the teacher gave him a talking to"
rebuke, reprehension, reprimand, reproof, reproval - an act or expression of criticism and censure; "he had to these people, they may not meet immigration criteria."
ASSESSING TRAINING AND SKILLS
Part of the process often depends on checking out a candidate's training and abilities. Not all training programs in the world are alike, which can make a big difference in how work is completed, especially in certain specialized trades. Plus, in some countries, it's not uncommon to be able to simply purchase a license or diploma without completing any training whatsoever. That's where skills assessment comes in.
Employers and recruiters for the most part have had to do their own assessments, either by visiting the workers in person or arranging for a third-party assessment by a local organization. In the last four years, a pilot program supported by the federal government and the Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology History
The four schools that make up the Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology started off as four individual schools. Palliser Campus in Moose Jaw started off as the Saskatchewan Technical Institute in 1959. (SIAST SIAST Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology ) has offered the Skills Passport Program.
"When the economic boom started to happen, several companies in Saskatchewan were bringing over skilled workers, and we noticed that some of the time, the worker would come here and they actually didn't have the skills that their credentials indicated," explains Angela Wojcichowsky, director of international projects at SIAST. "Lots of times, companies would go to other countries and wouldn't really know how best to assess the candidate in terms of practical skills. You can look at someone's education and sometimes it just doesn't match what they can do."
At the time, the greatest need appeared to be for skilled welders, so SIAST examined their curriculum and developed 38 assessment outcomes based on the practical skills it expects from SIAST welding graduates. Then SIAST took their assessment methods to the two areas of world where most welders were coming here from - Ukraine and the Philippines - and established partnerships with training institutes in those countries to complete SIAST-certified skills assessments for candidates interested in emigrating to Canada.
More and more businesses identified another important area for assessment: the ability to understand and communicate. For most jobs, it is absolutely critical for employees to be able to speak the same language as their employer. "Even if we have the best candidate for a job, especially in western Canada, if their English is not going to achieve success and safety in the workplace, they are not a candidate for us," Lieffers stresses.
Jim Nowakowski at JNE Welding agrees. "In our environment, you need good communications for two reasons. One is to understand the project and the instructions that you're given; the other is about safety. If you don't clearly understand what you're supposed to be doing or what the hazards are, you're not only putting yourself at risk, but others as well."
The federal government has also placed a high priority on language skills. Starting July 1, 2012, most provincial nominee program applicants for semi- or low-skilled professions must meet minimum language standards in listening, speaking, reading and writing in either English or French.
SIAST used the same model that worked for welding to develop assessments for English language English language, member of the West Germanic group of the Germanic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages (see Germanic languages). Spoken by about 470 million people throughout the world, English is the official language of about 45 nations. skills and in the last few months, has launched two other assessment programs for heavy-duty mechanics and for carpentry/construction.
Determining whether a foreign worker's skills meet the same standards as here at home carries a lot of weight with employers - and helps with the immigration paperwork. "Many companies that have gone through the process are quite happy with the SIAST assessment," reports Wojcichowsky. "They get all the welding results, pictures of the assessment and even the .WAV files from the English language assessment, and we can send all the results to the Immigrant Nominee Program and Canadian Immigration so that it can be used as part of their due diligence process."
As a pilot project, the Skills Passport Program has operated under a grant from Human Resources Development Canada “HRDC” redirects here. For other uses, see HRDC (disambiguation).
The Department of Human Resources Development, also referred to as Human Resources Development Canada (HRDC), is a former department of the Government of Canada. , at no charge to employers. SIAST is examining various fee structures with employers and government to plan for the next phase of the program, which will need to be at least partly self-sustaining. This will have significant implications as to whether the program can be expanded to other countries or sectors.
COMING TO CANADA
For international recruiting and immigration companies, matching the employer and the worker is just the beginning. An employer reviews a worker's experience, training and abilities and meets with the employee either in person or through a Skype interview. The job offer is made, the application is submitted to the SINP and if accepted, sent on to the federal government for review. During the waiting period, many candidates work on upgrading language skills and/or preparing for a move to Canada.
Many of these firms also help employers with settling the worker and his or her family in Canada. This might involve finding housing, helping to set up bank accounts and drivers' licenses, and connecting the worker with community groups - all with a view to providing support and encouraging newcomers to stay and make their permanent home here.
And many are. Immigration Saskatchewan reports that 86 per cent of people that come here through the SINP stay in the province. Since 2007, newcomers to Saskatchewan have been from 180 different countries and have settled in 325 communities across the province. Almost 30 per cent are living outside of the major centres of Saskatoon and Regina, which is a much different settlement strategy than is found in many other provinces. Newcomers are helping to reinvigorate communities across rural Saskatchewan.
Employers and recruiters often encourage new employees to move to Canada a few weeks or months before their family arrives. "Step one is to focus on the transition to their new workplace says Lieffers. "When the family arrives, it creates a different type of stress on the worker. They may be thinking about the happiness of their wife or how their children are coping with school."
There's a lot to get used to. Obviously the weather can be a shock to some. Monique Prud'homme Monique Prud'homme (born September 23, 1957 in Saint-Jean, Quebec) is a former Canadian handball player who competed in the 1976 Summer Olympics.
She was part of the Canadian handball team, which finished sixth in the Olympic tournament. She played all five matches. , an immigration consultant with Prudhomme International, recalls preparing some recruits from Mauritius, an island nation off the southeast coast of Africa. "They're outdoors people, and we had to explain that you can live in this weather. They kind of thought that once the snow started, you stayed indoors for the rest of the winter. In Mauritius, their shops don't have walls because it's never cold. They wondered how we could work here when it's cold. We had to explain that everything is heated."
Certainly, newcomers to Canada bring new perspectives about the world to us. They're contributing to our economic growth and enabling us to sustain and expand our current growth. They connect us to global networks that open new opportunities for business. They're not only changing the face of Saskatchewan, but their presence here is helping to raise our profile in other parts of the world.
"It's amazing a·maze
v. a·mazed, a·maz·ing, a·maz·es
1. To affect with great wonder; astonish. See Synonyms at surprise.
2. Obsolete To bewilder; perplex.
v.intr. how we are affected by what's happening in other parts of the world," observes Jim Nowakowski at JNE Welding. "The world is getting very closely knit Adj. 1. closely knit - held together as by social or cultural ties; "a close-knit family"; "close-knit little villages"; "the group was closely knit"
close - close in relevance or relationship; "a close family"; "we are all... , much smaller. It's important to know what the possibilities are."
You'd have to have led a pretty sheltered existence over the last half-decade to have missed hearing about the continued strength of Saskatchewan's economy. With rising demand for the resources we produce, increased investment and multiple mega-projects underway, there's no doubt the province is on a growth curve.
Facilitating that growth is going to take a lot of work. Our challenge is that we don't have enough people here that can do it all. Yet.
Number of SINP Nominees (2005-2006 to 2010-2011) Target Actual 2005-2006 400 434 2006-2007 800 1,256 2007-2008 1,200 1,692 2008-2009 2,800 2,914 2009-2010 3,400 3,505 2010-2011 3,400 4,195 Note: Table made from bar graph. SINP Nominations by Category (2010) Farm 0.4% Family Members 45.8% Skilled Worked 24.1% Semi Skilled 2.0% Student 5.1% Truck Driver 1.5% Entrepreneur 3.7% Hospitality Project 11.3% Health Professional 6.1% Source: Immigrant Services Division. Province of Saskatchewan Note: Table made from pie chart.