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Labour Shortages in Rural Canada: Why Canadian Employers should utilize the Foreign Worker Program

Rural Canada is facing a severe skilled labour shortage. The reasons are multivariable, and it’s even being felt in some of Canada’s larger city centres. This is not unique to rural Canada in this time period however, and as a result the permanent and temporary foreign worker program was introduced to address these issues years ago. 

In smaller cities and rural areas of Canada, there tends to be a bit of a brain drain. Well-educated and skilled young Canadians seek more opportunity in Canada’s larger city centres. This is not unique to Canada as the word has seen a shift in rural to urban migration in general over the last century. 

However, many small cities, towns, and municipalities still require local service industries such as restaurants, hospitality and retail services to name a few. Being a Canadian business owner in these smaller centres offers many advantages including a lack of competition, more affordable commercial rents, and sometimes, especially in some of the most beautiful, often mountainous and picturesque communities, a very relaxed, healthy and active lifestyle that favours the outdoors.  

There is one big challenge for these business owners in small communities, and that tends to be their ability to attract labour, talent and skilled workers for their businesses. They cannot necessarily compete with the purchasing power of 6 figure professionals enjoying similar services in the big cities so raising wages to attract talent from the cities, and subsequently their prices, is not an option. They would not remain in business very long if they implored that technique. 

That’s why SJP Immigration Inc. is particularly focused on helping Canadian employers, especially those located in rural Western Canada, to staff their businesses in part with permanent and temporary foreign workers. Some of the advantages to hiring skilled workers from abroad are their pre-determined loyalty to their Canadian employer, as they don’t have labour mobility to work in other occupations, locations, or employers, until they receive their permanent residence status in Canada. This process, in many cases takes more than several years to achieve and be granted a permanent residence visa. If you are suffering from high turnover in your industry, which many rural Canadian business owners report, this can be part of the solution. 

Of course, there is a due diligence process, that before a Canadian employer seeks to employ a foreign national from abroad, and access a skilled talent pool in the millions, rather than the few locally, they must first establish they are in fact facing a genuine labour shortage and the position offered to the foreign national is not otherwise displacing a job for a Canadian or permanent resident. This application process is with Service Canada (Employment and Social Development) and is commonly referred to as an LMIA, or Labour Market Impact Assessment. It is complicated in nature and designed to protect the Canadian labour market, for good reason. SJP Immigration Inc. is uniquely skilled and experienced to help any Canadian employer navigate this process successfully, and source and secure the talent that their rural business needs to flourish. 

If you are a Canadian employer that is genuinely suffering from a lack of available talent to work in one or several positions at your company, SJP Immigration Inc. wants to hear from you. It is important to start this process early on to preemptively get ahead of your staffing needs in the future as the process can take at least a couple of months. Complete our employer form below and we’d be happy to meet with you, provide some resumes of available workers in our database, send you additional information and commonly asked questions, and hopefully complete the entire application process on your behalf at no cost to you. We have a roster of talent at the ready seeking the opportunity to live their dream by working and residing in Canada.