Toronto, ON—Internationally-trained immigrants in the skilled trades will soon find it easier to enter the workforce. To address the ongoing labour shortage, the Ontario government intends to propose legislation that would help address the province-wide labour shortage. If passed, these proposed changes would build on already enacted legislation.
“Ontario is facing a generational labour shortage with hundreds of thousands of jobs going unfilled. However, all too often, newcomers in this province struggle to find jobs in their regulated profession for no other reason than bureaucracy and red tape,” said Monte McNaughton, MPP for Lambton-Kent-Middlesex, and Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development.
If the legislation is passed, it would eliminate Canadian work experience requirements for professional registration and licenses unless an exemption is granted based on a demonstrated public health and safety risk.
“These are folks who often have the training, experience, and qualifications to work in booming industries where Ontario desperately needs help but are being denied a chance to contribute,” said McNaughton.
It would also reduce burdensome duplication for official language proficiency testing, so people would not have to complete multiple tests for immigration and professional licensing purposes. Additionally, it would allow applicants to register faster in their regulated professions when emergencies (such as a pandemic) create an urgent need for certain professions or trades.
Lastly, it would ensure the licensing process is completed in a timely manner to help internationally-trained immigrants start working in careers that match their skillset.
“If these proposed changes are passed, Ontario will become the first province in Canada to help level the playing field in certain regulated professions so that workers coming here have the opportunity to build a better life for themselves and their loved ones, and build stronger communities for us all,” said McNaughton.