CRFA applauds changes to Temporary Foreign Worker Program
Vancouver – The Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association (CRFA) welcomes the improvements to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program announced today that will help alleviate the severe labour shortage in the foodservice industry.
The announcement by federal Minister of Human Resources and Social Development Monte Solberg, B.C. Minister of Economic Development Colin Hansen and B.C. Minister of Labour Olga Ilich will expedite the process for hiring much-needed temporary foreign workers to fill selected positions in restaurants and other foodservice establishments in British Columbia and Alberta, where the labour shortage is most acute.
“Today’s announcement is an indication the governments of Canada, British Columbia and Alberta understand the labour shortage is a people shortage, not simply a skills shortage,” says Mark von Schellwitz, CRFA’s Vice President, Western Canada.
“This pilot project is an important step that CRFA would like to see extended to other occupations in our industry and other regions of the country,” says Joyce Reynolds, CRFA’s Executive Vice President of Government Affairs.
Foodservice employers who have been unable to find Canadian citizens or permanent residents to fill front-line positions should now find it much faster to hire foreign workers, provided the government uses realistic prevailing wage rates that are based on consistent and current labour market data.
Over the next nine years the restaurants, bars and caterers that make up Canada’s foodservice industry will require an additional 181,000 workers. While the demand for foodservice employees will grow an average of 1.8% per year over the next nine years, the working-age population of 15- to 69-year-olds will grow by just 0.9%.
CRFA also welcomes the commitment to more information sharing and collaboration on enforcement mechanisms between the federal government and provincial governments to protect both workers and the integrity of the Temporary Foreign Worker program.
CRFA is one of Canada’s largest business associations, with 34,000 members representing restaurants, caterers, bars, clubs, accommodation and institutional foodservice operators.