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B.C. program targets trucking labour shortage

VICTORIA -- B.C. is launching a two-year pilot project aimed at foreign workers to help offset serious labour shortages in the trucking and tourism/hospitality industries.

The entry-level and semi-skilled pilot project under the B.C. Provincial Nominee Program aims to help these industries retain workers they recruit internationally through expedited access for permanent residency.

Spouses and dependents of nominees are also eligible for permanent residence under the program.

“The trucking and tourism/hospitality industries play a critical role in our export-oriented economy, and are experiencing persistent labour shortages,” said Economic Developmnet Minister Colin Hansen.

Hansen said B.C. is relying more and more on temporary foreign workers to meet its labour needs, but temporary workers do not provide a permanent solution to long-term shortages.

“The industry associations asked us to use the Provincial Nominee Program to help them retain valued foreign workers and reduce the loss of productivity and the ongoing costs of continuously having to replace temporary foreign workers,” Hansen said.

The pilot is currently in progress and is open to eligible employers in the tourism/hospitality and long-haul trucking industries, and to temporary foreign workers in entry level and semi-skilled occupations who have been employed by their B.C. employer for at least nine months.

The B.C. Provincial Nominee Program will closely monitor compliance and employee retention, and will undertake a comprehensive review of the pilot project prior to its initial expiry.

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