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British Columbia Construction Association plans another recruitment trip to Germany

Richard Gilbert

The British Columbia Construction Association (BCCA) is planning to recruit construction workers by attending two job fairs in Germany early next year.


Association on the lookout for skilled workers at two job fairs in Germany

The British Columbia Construction Association (BCCA) is planning to recruit construction workers by attending two job fairs in Germany early next year.

BCCA Director of Human Resources Regina Brodersen said the next round of job fairs in Germany will be taking place in Essen and Leipzig on March 4 and 6 respectively. The job fairs are being organized by ZAV, a department of the German Ministry of Labour, which helps Germans look for employment opportunities overseas.

“Leipzig is a great location and a great source of people. The city has a high density of population and is in the former East Germany,” said Brodersen. “We hope to get 12 companies to attend the job fairs this year.”

The BCCA led a delegation of 6 companies to job fairs in Essen and Berlin, during February 2007. The job fair attracted a high turnout of about 2700 people and resulted in 120-130 placements in the construction industry.

“I am confident we can get the same numbers next year,” said Brodersen, who has focused much of her efforts to attract overseas workers on Germany. This year Brodersen is also looking into job fairs in Holland and Ireland that are scheduled after the job fairs in Germany.

As of October 2007, Brodersen has help bring 112 skilled workers to B.C. under a program called EU-Step. Most of these workers are carpenters, roofers, bricklayers, ironworkers, glaziers and electricians. About one-third of these workers gain their permanent residency, under the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP).

EU-Step has placed skilled workers from such countries as Germany, Finland, Russia and the Ukraine. In addition to sourcing candidates from Eastern Europe, EU-Step recently expanded to seek skilled workers in Mexico and other countries in Central and South America.

Brodersen helps BCCA members source skilled trade workers and understand the immigration process.

Brodersen suggested that any companies interested in going to the fair to recruit workers get pre-approval for one or more individuals from Service Canada. Pre-approval expedites the process and provides assurance for obtaining a work visa. It also indicates that Services Canada has already affirmed a labour shortage relating to a specific trade skill.

Companies are expected to screen and interview employees, and assist in the immigration process. Employees are hired with the support of the PNP, which allows qualified employers to nominate a prospective worker for permanent residence and bypass the lengthy federal immigration selection process.

The BCCA also attended job fairs in Germany, England and Scotland in March 2006 as part of a Canadian delegation with 30-35 members.

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