Alberta business groups demand action on labour shortage – Calgary – CBC News
A coalition of Alberta business groups is calling on the federal and provincial governments to work with industry to address labour shortages in western Canada.
“Every sector of the economy will be hit hard by a shortage of workers,” said coalition spokesperson Richard Truscott, Alberta director of the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses.
“Governments and industry must work together quickly to explore opportunities to improve temporary worker and permanent immigration programs to meet the needs of a growing economy.”
The Alberta government is forecasting there will be 114,000 more jobs than people to fill them in coming years, he said.
This shortage of labour will slow economic growth, costing jobs and reducing government revenue, said business groups.
The coalition is asking government to:
- Change the Federal Skilled Worker Program to place greater emphasis on labour demands.
- Make it easier for temporary workers to become permanent immigrants.
- Change National Occupation Codes to reflect employer needs and recognize a broader range of skilled positions.
- Streamline the Temporary Foreign Worker application and approval process.
“What’s needed now is the recognition that we must aggressively recruit in international labour markets,” said Tim Shipton, President of the Alberta Enterprise Group.
Alberta businesses call for action to forestall labour shortage
Spurred by a new wave of labour shortages across Western Canada, a powerful coalition of Alberta business groups is calling on governments to make it easier for the province’s employers to attract workers.
The 19-member Alberta Coalition for Action on Labour Shortages includes representatives from the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, the Alberta Federation of Independent Business and every major sector of the province’s economy.
The coalition, launched Thursday in Edmonton, said Alberta is expected to have 114,000 vacant jobs in coming years, a trend which is increasingly evident across Western Canada.
“The simple fact remains that we do not have enough people in Alberta to fill the jobs today and the thousands of jobs that are anticipated,” said Tim Shipton, president of the Alberta Enter-prise Group. “If there is going to be any limit to the growth in Alberta, it is the lack of people to fill jobs.”