EDMONTON, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Dec. 10, 2012) - Alberta based Merit Contractors Association, Canada's largest group of open shop construction contractors, reacted positively to today's announcement by Citizen and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney. Beginning January 2013, up to 3,000 skilled workers will be admitted to Canada under the new Federal Skilled Trades Program.
Previous federal government rules restricted the intake of permanent immigrants with training and experience in construction trades to fewer than 700 applicants annually, under the Federal Skilled Worker program.
Speaking in Edmonton, Merit Vice-President Bill Stewart stated that, "Today's announcement is good news for the construction industry because the need for workers with trade skills will continue to grow as Alberta's economy grows. We expect that the quota of 3,000 applicants will be absorbed quickly across Canada."
Program admission criteria will ensure that applicants are "job ready" in terms of either having an offer of employment or have their credentials recognized by a provincial regulatory authority. Applicants must also possess basic language skills and have demonstrable experience as a qualified journeyperson.
Stewart continued, "The construction industry has made significant strides over the past decade to ensure that training and work opportunities were made available to Canadians before looking for workers beyond our borders. Immigration reforms such as the one announced by Minister Kenney today, are part of a comprehensive series of measures needed to address Canada's ageing workforce."
About Merit Contractors Association
With over 1,300 member companies employing more than 40,000 Albertans, the Merit Contractors Association is the voice of open shop construction in Alberta and provides human resource solutions through employee benefit, training, and retirement and recruitment programs.