Improving Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program to Address Labour Market Needs.

In a move aimed at enhancing its ability to meet the demands of its dynamic labour market, Canada has announced significant changes to its Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). The amendments come as part of the government’s ongoing efforts to ensure that Canada remains competitive on the global stage while also prioritising the needs of its workforce.

On 21st March 2024 Immigration Minister Marc Miller and Employment Minister Randy Boissonnault announced changes to Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). These changes will come into effect by May 1st 2024.

The immigration minister stated in the announcement that he has given the immigration department instructions to assess and better connect IRCC programs that bring in temporary foreign workers with labour market demands.

Why have the modifications been made?

For an extensive amount of time, the TFWP has been instrumental in resolving labour shortages across the board in the Canadian economy. When suitable Canadian citizens or permanent residents are unavailable to fill a post, it permits Canadian firms to temporarily engage foreign labour. This was most used during the pandemic to fill the labour shortage. . Now, however, Canada has begun to undo these temporary measures. 

“We are now in a different economic picture. With the gap between unemployment and job vacancies closing, a tightening labour market… some of these measures are no longer needed” said Minister Boissonault.

Marc Miller remarks Our policies should adapt to the changing of global conditions, tightening labour market conditions, and shifting skill requirements for the workforce of the future. Further pressing on the fact that Canada seeks to maintain its humanitarian commitments, meet the needs of the labour market, and guarantee that the number of temporary residents entering the nation is at a sustainable level.

Updates affective by 1st May 

  • To guarantee accurate labor market demands, new Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIAs) will be valid for six months, down from twelve months.
  • With the exception of the construction and healthcare industries, all companies listed in the 2022 Workforce Solutions Road Map will see a decrease in the percentage of their overall workforce that can be hired through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program under the low wage stream, from 30% to 20%.
  • Before submitting an LMIA application, employers must consider all of their options, including hiring asylum seekers who have legal work permits in Canada.
  • The Canadian government will keep vigilant tabs on the state of the labour market to make sure that the TFW Program meets present economic demands, that Canadians are given preference when applying for jobs, and that the rights of temporary foreign workers in Canada are upheld.
  • In an effort to convert temporary residents into permanent residents, Miller also declared that they will be holding more domestic immigration lotteries and urged their provincial counterparts to follow suit.
  • Employers operating in the agriculture sector are exempt from the new TFWP regulations.
  • After discussing with our provincial and territorial counterparts and as part of our annual levels planning, this goal will be decided upon in the fall Canada aims to reduce the number of temporary residents by 5% in the ensuing three years.

Canada’s revised Temporary Foreign Worker Program is a positive start toward keeping the country a top choice for qualified workers from throughout the world as it navigates the difficult challenges presented by a changing global economy. By achieving a fair balance between resolving labor shortages and protecting the rights of both domestic and foreign workers, Canada has demonstrated that it is committed to strengthening and fortifying its economy in the interest of all citizens.

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