Foodservice Equipment Reports

Canada Streamlines Temporary Foreign Worker Program

Canada can boast of more than one million workers in its restaurant industry, but the country and industry also face a labor shortage. According to the Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council, the $63 billion (Canadian) foodservice industry will be short at least 35,000 workers by 2015. The scramble to find workers will be felt most acutely in lower-skilled occupations, which often rely on temporary foreign workers (TWFs) when employers cannot find domestic workers to fill vacancies. Two changes introduced last week to the TWF program will cut red tape for many employers.

In addition to wage clarification, the changes include a new service allowing employers to submit electronically applications and supporting documents for a Labor Market Opinion and monitor their status online. An LMO is required to demonstrate that employers have attempted to hire locally for the job before they can hire from abroad. In addition, qualifying employers can receive an accelerated LMO for higher skilled occupations within 10 days instead of the current wait time of more than six weeks.

“Our members are facing immediate labor shortages in many regions of the country,” said Garth Whyte, president and CEO of the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association. “These changes will reduce the lengthy processing time it takes to approve applications to hire temporary foreign workers for employers with a good track record, and allow restaurateurs to continue to serve their customers and invest in their communities.”