Trucking Industry in Quebec: Obstacles and Challenges
There are some challenges and complexities of recruiting foreign labour in the trucking industry, particularly in Quebec, where both provincial and federal governments are involved in immigration matters. The dual application process involving both federal and provincial authorities can create challenges and uncertainty, leading to situations where candidates may be approved at one level but rejected at the other. This lack of coordination can cause delays and inefficiencies in the recruitment process.
The federal Temporary Foreign Worker Program and Quebec’s Demande d’etude d’impact sur le marche du travail (EIMT) require simultaneous applications for hiring foreign workers. However, there have been cases where candidates approved by Quebec are rejected at the federal level, causing concerns for the Quebec Trucking Association. Program requirements include determining whether a trucking job falls under the high- or low-wage stream and providing protections for foreign workers.
While some requirements have been relaxed, regulatory changes have been implemented to safeguard workers’ rights during their stay in Canada. The involvement of personnel placement agencies and recruitment agencies is also regulated. Additionally, there are skilled foreign workers, including foreign students with open work permits, already available in Canada. The Quebec Trucking Association has requested a working group to address specific issues related to the trucking industry’s foreign workforce.
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Enhancing Collaboration and Streamlining Processes for a Stronger Trucking Industry Workforce
Employers in the trucking industry must ensure compliance with all program requirements, and they are encouraged to work with approved agencies to facilitate the recruitment process. Additionally, considering the pool of skilled foreign workers already in Canada, employers should explore these resources to address immediate labour shortages.
To improve the recruitment process and address industry-specific issues, collabouration between the Quebec Trucking Association and relevant authorities, such as the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration, is crucial. By streamlining processes and providing clearer guidelines, both governments can better support the trucking industry’s foreign workforce needs while ensuring the fair treatment and protection of foreign workers in the country.
Supports for the Industry to Tackle Labour Shortage
Canada is offering substantial support to the trucking industry through various initiatives, including financial grants and immigration policies facilitating the hiring of qualified foreign workers. The government’s efforts aim to address labor shortages, attract skilled individuals, and ensure the industry’s growth and stability.
For instance, Ontario took the initiative to aid transportation companies in hiring internationally-trained truckers by including the occupation in its Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) Employer Job Offer In-Demand Skills Stream. This inclusion provides a dedicated pathway to Canadian permanent residence for experienced truck drivers who have a job offer in Ontario. To apply for nomination by the Ontario government for permanent residence, applicants must first register in the OINP’s Expression of Interest (EOI) system and then receive an Invitation To Apply (ITA).
In addition, Alberta offers attractive truck driver jobs, with 802 positions advertised mainly in Edmonton and Calgary. The median hourly wage is $28, and immigration policies support hiring foreign workers. The industry faces challenges with an aging workforce and labor shortages but allocated $30 million, including $10 million annually for three years, to commercial driving grants. Around 40,100 people work in this occupation, with 55% full-time and 45% part-time, and varying education levels.
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With the comprehensive supports in place for the trucking industry, Canada is optimistic about effectively addressing the persistent issue of labor shortage in this vital sector. By offering pathways to permanent residence for internationally-trained truckers and implementing strategic initiatives, the country aims to attract skilled individuals and ensure a robust and sustainable workforce for the transportation industry.