Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council

Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council

February 26, 2007 10:32 ET

CTHRC Welcomes Improvements to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Feb. 26, 2007) - The Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council welcomed the announcement made on February 23, 2007 by the Minister of Human Resources and Social Development (HRSDC) Monte Solberg, and the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Diane Finley regarding improvements to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

These improvements will help address the challenges employers in Canada's tourism sector face in filling vacant positions. Graeme Barrit, President of Coast Hotels & Resorts and Business Co-chair of the CTHRC, was present at the announcement in Vancouver. "This is exactly the type of assistance we need from the federal government. As we approach the 2010 Olympics, the Canadian tourism sector needs to capitalize on the opportunities associated with the Games. It is critical that there be enough qualified, professional staff to enable Canada to welcome the world."

The government announced that it would:

"extend the duration of the Labour Market Opinion (LMO) from up to 12 months, to up to 24 months in length where appropriate" and "effective February 23, 2007 this extension affects those foreign workers working in Canada under the Pilot Project for Occupations Requiring Lower Levels of Formal Training (National Occupational Classification (NOC) C and D categories)."

"enable employers to complete the "Foreign Worker Application (Application for a Labour Market Opinion)" form online as of April 1, 2007" and "employers will be able to access information about applying online by mid-March 2007."

"expedite the process for employers hiring a foreign worker by allowing work permit applications to be processed at the same time as the application for an LMO, if requested by the worker. Effective February 23, 2007 this concurrent processing of the employer's LMO and the foreign national's work permit should reduce the total processing time for these applications."

The Temporary Foreign Worker Program allows employers to hire temporary foreign workers when there are no Canadian citizens or permanent residents available for the positions. Previously, temporary foreign workers with less formal training would have to leave Canada after twelve months, for four months, and then re-apply to come back. With these changes, they can stay for up to twenty-four months without having to request an extension.

The CTHRC is also working on a number of projects to facilitate the recognition of the competencies of foreign workers and to facilitate their integration into the Canadian workforce, with the assistance of the federal government. This announcement strengthens the tourism sector's ability to look to external labour pools, while at the same time engaging in a number of initiatives to better attract and integrate Aboriginal peoples, mature workers, and persons with disabilities into a workforce that has traditionally looked largely to the youth demographic to meet its labour needs.

View official Government of Canada press release

http://news.gc.ca/cfmx/view/en/index.jsp?articleid=278449

About the Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council (CTHRC)

The Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council (CTHRC) is a national organization that facilitates and coordinates human resources development activities which support a globally competitive and sustainable Canadian tourism sector. They are also part of a network of tourism education councils across the country that work together to establish and implement emerit national occupational standards, tourism training and professional recognition that help the tourism sector improve financial performance by improving people performance. For further information on CTHRC visit www.cthrc.ca and on emerit products and programs visit www.emerit.ca or call 1-800-486-9158.

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