Ontario Chamber Looks To Address Skills Gap Through Immigration

April 6, 2016 – A new report by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, Passport to Prosperity: Ontario’s Priorities for Immigration Reform, says new comers to the province could be the answer to the growing skills gap. The Chamber found that between 2013 and 2016 there was a 9 per cent increase to the number of employers having a hard time trying to recruit the right person for a position.

A challenge that has estimated cost of up to 24.3 billion in forgone GDP for the Ontario economy every year.

The Chamber report contains nine recommendations designed to reduce Ontario’s costly skills gap and improve the labour outcomes of immigrants in the province.
Author of the report Kathryn Sullivan says part of the problem is that employers have trouble navigating the immigration system due to requirements like the labour market impact assessment.
“It delays the hiring time, it means that position remains vacant for longer which of course costs the employer money.
We’ve heard from employers, that essentially LIMA requirement, it means that they have to hire a very expensive highly trained lawyer to help them navigate.”
The labour market impact assessment requires employers to prove there is no Canadian available to do the job.
Sullivan says the Chamber is asking the federal government to eliminate the requirement as most employers reported looking into immigration after exhausting domestic options
Adding that the LIMA just becomes an extra burden in the process.
Together, Canadians represent more than 200 ethnic origins and speak more than 200 languages. One out of five people in Canada’s population is foreign-born. Over 53 percent of these individuals have chosen to settle in Ontario.
As the province that receives the most immigrants in the federation, Ontario is particularly invested in achieving reforms designed to advance the prosperity of both new market entrants and the economy.
In addition to possessing valuable language abilities as well as foreign business networks, immigrants have talents critical to filling the existing skills gap.