January 27, 2024

Why Canada Needs to Welcome More Skilled Newcomers?

Canada's housing crisis is a complex puzzle with no easy solutions. Soaring prices, limited supply of 3.5 million units on top of current construction, and a rapidly growing population of over 40.5 million have created a perfect storm for affordability woes. While various factors contribute to this challenge, one potential remedy stands out: welcoming more skilled newcomers to the construction sector, where they make up only 22% of the workforce.

A recent report by Desjardins Economic Studies underscores this point, highlighting the benefits of strategic immigration in addressing Canada's construction workforce shortage, which currently sits at 455 new permanent residents through the Federal Skilled Trades Program in 2022. This is compared to 2,500 ITAs issued for Express Entry candidates with experience in a trades occupation through targeted draws in 2023.

The Pressing Need for Skilled Construction Workers

Canada's construction sector is a vital engine of the economy, employing millions and contributing significantly to the GDP. However, it faces a critical shortage of skilled workers, hindering its ability to meet the growing demand for housing. This shortage is reflected in several key statistics:

  1. Construction ranks 15th among the top 20 employment industries in Canada, despite its crucial role in infrastructure development and economic growth.
  2. Despite population growth, the percentage of newcomers and non-permanent residents (NPRs) working in construction remains stagnant at around 22%, with only 5% of employed NPRs entering construction as their main job.
  3. This highlights the need for targeted immigration strategies to bridge the gap between the influx of newcomers and the specific needs of the construction sector.

Beyond Immigration: Addressing the Multifaceted Housing Challenge

While welcoming skilled newcomers is crucial, it's important to acknowledge that the housing shortage is a multifaceted issue. Other factors like:

  1. Rising building material costs: The cost of lumber, steel, and other materials has skyrocketed by 10-year highs due to pandemic disruptions and supply chain issues, further inflating construction costs.
  2. Supply chain disruptions: The pandemic has significantly impacted the flow of materials and equipment, leading to delays and project backlogs.
  3. Low productivity: The construction sector has experienced stagnant or declining productivity for years, highlighting the need for innovation and efficiency improvements. CMHC estimates that high costs will cause some 40% of residential developers to reduce the number of future projects while over 30% will “put new projects on the back burner.”

Building a More Effective Immigration Strategy for Construction

To truly leverage the potential of skilled newcomers in addressing the construction workforce shortage, Canada needs a more strategic and targeted approach to immigration. Here are some key recommendations:

  1. Expand and prioritize skilled trades programs: Programs like the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) should be significantly expanded and receive more resources, with more frequent Express Entry draws specifically targeting skilled trades occupations.
  2. Focus on in-demand skills: Immigration policies should prioritize selecting newcomers with skills and qualifications that align with the specific needs of the construction sector. This includes not only traditional trades but also emerging fields like green construction and sustainable building practices.
  3. Streamline the immigration process: Reducing administrative burdens and processing times from years to months can attract and retain skilled newcomers, making it easier for them to contribute to the construction workforce.
  4. Invest in training and development: Provide pathways for newcomers to acquire the necessary certifications and qualifications to succeed in the Canadian construction industry. This includes language training, skills upgrading programs, and mentorship initiatives.

Collaboration is Key: Building a Brighter Future Together

Addressing Canada's housing crisis requires a collaborative effort from various stakeholders, including government agencies, construction companies, educational institutions, and immigrant communities. By implementing a strategic immigration approach focused on attracting and retaining skilled newcomers in the construction sector, Canada can build a stronger, more resilient housing market and pave the way for a brighter future for generations to come. By welcoming skilled newcomers with open arms and supporting their integration into the workforce, Canada can build not just houses, but vibrant communities where everyone has a place to call home.

Make Canada Your Dream Destination: Partner with Pelican Migration Consultants

Dreaming of a future filled with boundless opportunities? Pelican Migration Consultants, your trusted immigration consultants in Dubai, can help you navigate the path to migrating to Canada.

We specialize in crafting personalized immigration plans for individuals, families, and students. Whether you're seeking permanent residency, temporary work visas, or the perfect study program, our CICC licensed team will guide you every step of the way.

Why Choose Pelican?

  1. Proven Track Record: With a high success rate and countless happy clients, we deliver on our promises.
  2. Expertise and Knowledge: Our team of CICC licensed immigration consultants stays updated on the latest regulations and procedures.
  3. Personalized Approach: We understand your unique circumstances and tailor our services accordingly.
  4. Transparency and Communication: We keep you informed every step of the way, answering your questions and addressing your concerns.

Don't let the complexities of immigration hold you back. Contact Pelican Migration Consultants today and take the first step towards your Canadian dream.