Ontario’s Minister of Labour, Monte McNaughton recently called for administrative changes to attract more foreign workers. On October 25, 2021, Monte McNaughton introduced the “Working for Workers Act”. The Working for Workers Act includes proposed changes to help immigrants trying to work in regulated occupations in Ontario. If implemented, the act could mean great changes for foreign workers in Ontario.
Why Is the Working for Workers Act Needed?
The Ontario government aims to ease up the regulations related to licensing in non-health-related occupations by doing the following:
- Removing the work experience requirements demanded by the regulatory authorities
- Eliminate language testing to get a license
- Expedite licensing, especially in cases of emergency
According to Monte McNaughton, Ontario needs to recognize the foreign credentials of new immigrants to get them the required license if they want to build the province. Labor shortages in skilled trade occupations are expected to increase as more workers near the retirement age. According to a recent study, Ontario could add $12 to $20 billion to its economy by addressing the skill gap between immigrants and Canadian workers.
The proposed act does not include anything regarding healthcare occupations, however, the government is hoping to change that shortly.