Provincial government increases opportunities for new immigrant hiring in some lower-skill construction trades

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The provincial government says it is opening the doors for a few thousand more qualified construction industry immigrant employees, through a new “in-demand skills stream” of the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP).

The government says in a news release that the OINP enhancement ”is a pilot project based on labour market needs and input from trade unions, employers and other key stakeholders. The province will closely monitor the pilot and make adjustments as necessary to ensure it meets the needs of employers.”

The province says its federal immigrant nomination allocation has increased from 2,500 in 2014 to 6,000 in 2017.

Construction work classification categories under the enhanced program include:

  • NOC 7441 – Residential and commercial installers and services;
  • NOC 7521 – Heavy equipment operators (except crane); and
  • NOC 7611 – Construction trades helpers and labourers.

A key criteria is that the prospective immigrant applicants must “have 12 months of cumulative work experience in Ontario obtained within the 36 months before the date of your application to the OINP.”

“The work experience must be paid, full-time (1,560 hours) or the equivalent amount in part-time in Ontario and must be in an eligible occupation.”

This suggests that the potential qualifying employees must already have been able to obtain a non-immigrant work permit to be able to work in Ontario in the first place.

Employers must meet certain qualifications, including:

  • Have been in active business for at least three years;
  • Have business premises in Ontario where the workers will atually be employed (telework and remote assignments are not allowed);
  • Be in compliance with all provincial labour laws, including but not limited to employment standards, health and safety, and labour relations legislation
  • Employers must report gross annual revenues greater than $1 million if located in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) or $500,000 outside of the Toronto area;
  • Businesses must currently employ five Canadian full-time employees in the GTA and
  • have three employees outside of the GTA.

Applications are processed on line. For further details see the relevant site.

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