TORONTO — The Residential Construction Council of Ontario (RESCON) is applauding provincial Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development Minister Monte McNaughton for working out a deal with the federal government to give the province more control over “economic immigration.”
RESCON has been calling on the federal government to substantially reform the system to allow more immigrants with construction skills to come into the country because more than 92,000 construction workers are expected to retire by 2030.
“It is critical that the province be allowed to increase the number of immigrants it gets to bring into the country through the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP),” says RESCON president Richard Lyall in a statement. “This deal is important as we need to be able to bring in more foreign-trained workers with specialized skill sets to work in the residential construction industry in order to build the housing we need.”
RESCON states the system has disproportionately favoured applicants with formal education and certificates but needs to be changed so that immigrant workers with experience in residential construction can qualify for express entry.
Ontario’s allotment under the OINP is 9,000. Both the province and RESCON have requested it be doubled to 18,000. The specific number the federal government has agreed to has not yet been released, RESCON explains.
“Voluntary trades in residential construction don’t require formal certificates, so foreign workers with those skills who are looking to immigrate to Canada often don’t qualify,” adds RESCON VP Andrew Pariser. “These trades include individuals who do tile setting, bricklaying, concrete and drain installation, highrise forming, basement framing, and finishing carpentry. We must change the system so those with experience in the voluntary trades, in particular, can come to Ontario.”