In a recent research titled “Labor shortages are back with a vengeance,” the Canadian Federation of Independent Business found that just 42 percent of businesses were able to fully staff their operations, with 54 percent of businesses having difficulty finding all the employees they require.
Only 22% of small businesses who did so felt it was successful in improving their ability to compete in the labor market. Some small businesses have changed their pay practices to do so. The major labor shortage, according to almost two-thirds (63 percent) of organizations, is a lack of applicants with the requisite qualifications and experience. Despite the fact that jobs could be accessible, employers nonetheless require workers with the skills necessary to meet their needs.
The continued impact of a lack of candidates, a mismatch in qualifications, and labor market disruptions is the reason for labor shortages.
The Temporary Foreign Worker Program has the potential to be one of the best solutions to the labor shortage
Increased automation in corporate operations and the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) to hire more workers were regarded as the two most effective strategies for addressing the labor crisis (52 percent success rate). Although the TFWP has a higher success rate than some of the alternative methods, the program is not used as much as it could be. Among small enterprises, only 16% claimed to have used the TFWP.
Temporary foreign workers would be a potential answer to Canada’s labor shortages, especially if the program were expanded to other sectors, according to the low utilization to high success rate ratio. It would be possible to have a moderate influx of labor while maintaining the essential skills to meet what both companies and employees are seeking for. This would be accomplished by opening the TFWP to a bigger segment of the business sector.
The TFWP also allows for those businesses in the most direct need to apply for additional workers themselves, without having to worry about competing for the labor pool directly. Throughout the pandemic, the shifting of workers has added a great deal of competitiveness to the labor pool.
It is far more difficult to compete for the same labor for various positions in Manufacturing, Agriculture, and Professional Services (such as information technology, copywriting, and mechanics). These industries and others will be better able to find the personnel they require by having a direct applicant pool.
There are some TFWP fixes that should be taken into consideration if the TFWP is to become a key solution.
To help alleviate the current labor crisis in Canada, the government should adopt the following TFWP changes:
- To expeditiously bring in foreign workers, the Permanent Immigration System should be improved and made simpler. This includes creating a path for these individuals to get permanent status.
- To ensure a good fit between immigrants and the roles they are coming in to fill, make sure job searchers match the demands in the Canadian job market.
- To solve the temporary labor shortages brought on by the epidemic, open the TFWP to all job kinds and industries, independent of the current regional unemployment rate.
- Establishing a Trusted Employer system will make it easier for Canadian businesses to meet temporary foreign worker shortages while also ensuring that smaller businesses with lower-paying employment can qualify.
- Employer payments for small business owners wishing to use the TFWP be temporarily waived.
Small businesses have been working hard to attract employees, but the government must play a role by enacting laws that boost productivity, link job searchers and employers, and keep the cost of hiring within reach of business budgets.
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