Labour Market Opinions soon to be required for foreign IT Workers
It has just been announced by HRSDC that as of September 30, 2010, Information Technology Specialists will no longer be able to apply for Canadian work permits unless they obtain a Labor Market Opinion (LMO). This move is a reversal from the procedure that facilitated work permits for IT Workers falling into seven specific IT job categories. These applicants and their Canadian employers were excempt from LMO applications submitted to Service Canada.
Labour Market Opinions require Canadian employers intending to hire foreign workers to undergo an extensive application procedure demonstrating efforts to hire locally. Proof of recruitment efforts in the form of advertising among other requirments have to be met. The Labour Market Opinion process amounts to at least an additional two months on top of the work permit process which, in some cases, can itself take months.
We feel that HRSDC’s announcement is very unfortunate. Their justification is to maintain the “integrity of the Foreign Worker Program,” and prevent any “adverse impact on the Canadian labor market”. What does this really mean? It is double-speak for a form of protectionism which in a recovering economy like ours is the last thing Canadians need.
Requiring Labour Market Opinions will make it harder for foreign workers
Placing unnecessary barriers for Canadian IT companies hiring needed foreign workers in a aging labor force and in struggling economy is really not responsible planning. But not a surprising move by the government.
The new Labour Market Opinion requirement for IT Workers will not apply to Quebec based employers and applicants. Lucky them.
In any case, it will be harder for Canadian companies remain competitive in the global market-place as they will, in some cases, be forced to “hire Canadian” rather than the best and the brightest because of the Labour Market Opinion requirements.
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