Friday, August 23, 2013

Skilled welders wanted; $16/hour, or how to spot a Temporary Foreign Worker Program scam

An advert to that effect can frequently be seen in major Canadian newspapers.

Not that they're planning to hire any Canadians. The rate on offer is well under what I earned when I retired from welding over twenty years ago.

So why do we see these ads? Because they're not expecting to find any skilled welders reading those papers and calling that number. What those employers, or employment agencies working on their behalf are doing, is establishing the "fact" that suitable candidates for their welding jobs are nowhere to be found in all of Canada.

That's the essential component in getting the thumbs-up from Citizen and Immigration Canada to import foreign workers. If the employer can demonstrate that they couldn't find workers in Canada, the government will issue a Labour Market Opinion, the magic key that opens the door to bringing in foreign workers.

That's why we see those ads.

Welding isn't rocket science. Most people with reasonable hand-eye coordination can become relatively proficient in under a year. Blueprint reading and fit-up competence take a little longer. It's a universal trade. If you can weld in the Ukraine or China or Albania you can weld in Canada.

And you'd be happy to do it for $16/hr.

Which is why our government bends over backwards to facilitate the import of skilled workers instead of training Canadians to do the work.

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