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Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Companies suffer when local labour market underutilized

Foreign workers In a report from Sandra Sweet with Troy Media, employment experts and economists caution employers not to ignore the local workforce in favour of foreign labour.

Before the recession many companies were recruiting foreign employees, said Julie Ball, executive director of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce Talent Pool, while ignoring the labour pool which exists right here in Calgary.

Although understandable when the economy was hot and there was a severe labour shortage, she added that it is a costly and time-intensive strategy especially as “we had people right here who were underutilized. Some of them may need training or support to work to their full potential, but it would take far less time and resources to get them ready as compared to bringing people into the country.”

The Calgary Chamber of Commerce is predicting in a report titled Completing the Circle: Realities, Challenges and Strategies to Improve Aboriginal Labour Market Outcomes in the Calgary Region that Alberta will experience a shortfall of over 93,000 workers during the next 10 years.

In response to this expected labour shortfall, the Calgary Chamber's Talent Pool has identified five groups of workers who are often overlooked by employers and are not fully utilized.

1) Young people who don't get career information early enough to enable them to choose the course of studies that will prepared them for the careers of their choice.

2) Older workers who are sometimes discarded while still having much to offer. Some simply want a second career in a different field while others want to continue their careers but at reduced hours;

3) Immigrants who come here wanting to continue in their chosen professions but face language barriers and have difficulty getting their credentials and professional work experience recognized;

4) Aboriginal people, and;

5) People with disabilities.

Two issues jump out at me from this story. First, if recruiting foreign labour is costly and time-consuming, perhaps the Chamber should be working to remove the barriers to the free movement of temporary labour. These barriers should not be left in place simply to protect the domestic labour market.

Second, with a shortfall of over 93,000 workers over the next decade, temporary foreign labour may the only option available to Alberta employers.

You can read Sandra Sweet’s story here.

(Picture: Foreign workers)

Posted by Matthew Johnston

Posted by westernstandard on June 3, 2009 | Permalink


Second, with a shortfall of over 93,000 workers over the next decade, temporary foreign labour may the only option available to Alberta employers.
Posted by Matthew Johnston

April 2009 stats show that there are almost 200,000 people who are unemployed or working part-time who are looking for full-time employment in Alberta. Shouldn't Alberta be looking at training and using its local population, or would Alberta employers rather hire P***'s who they can pay $5 an hour.

Posted by: The Stig | 2009-06-03 5:32:49 PM

Not this employer, Stig. If I'm forced to hire P***'s, I'll shut it down, and move. I'd be the laughing stock of the oilpatch.

What people elsewhere don't realize, is, 99.99% of the real workers are big, bad, white boys. A P*** wouldn't, couldn't last one week out here. They is house workers.

Posted by: dp | 2009-06-03 6:26:23 PM


If foreign worker's were more costly (or didn't have some other advantage over domestics), businesses wouldn't be pursuing them. It sounds like the Calgary Chamber of Commerce is a bunch of protectionists.

dp, you're a racist. Stop wasting our time and go post at Stormfront. You're an embarrassment to this site and you're destroying our credibility.

Posted by: Robert Seymour | 2009-06-04 7:37:58 AM

Stig, those 200,000 people may be unsuitable for a variety of reasons, not the least of which may be a lack of interest in working at all. Welfare should be replaced with workfare (for the able-bodied), and workfare should be designed so that people will not go on it while hard work is an alternative.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-06-04 8:23:20 AM

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