Manitoba looks at global recruitment
By Bev Shuttleworth, CEO
Manitoba Tourism Education Council (MTEC)
On February 8th, 2008 Manitoba Premier Gary Doer signed an agreement with the Philippines government to work together on ways to streamline the immigration process including better connection of Filipino applicants with potential employers in Manitoba.
Currently, more immigrants come to Manitoba from the Philippines than any other country, with Filipino newcomers accounting for more than 25 per cent of the province’s total immigration.
I had the opportunity to participate in the provincial Trade Mission to the Philippines along with other business and government representatives in February. My goal was to gain a better understanding the Philippines labour market, overseas recruitment requirements, skills for our industry and the role of recruiters in the process.
The highlights include:
- High interest to come to Canada over other countries, and in particular Manitoba and Winnipeg with our strong Filipino community and connections.
- English is spoken by all – thus any upgrading of skills could be designed to meet the needs of that occupation.
- Education and experience in hospitality among young people is extremely high. The jobs are valued and sought after and training and education classes fill quickly.
- Our Canadian Occupational Standards and NOCs (National Occupational Classifications) closely resemble those of the Philippines Technical Education and Skills Development Authority National Classifications. Identifying Canadian workplace context and needs can be expedited to avoid re-training and to ensure a solid skill level for employers.
- The attention to detail, customer-focus and willingness to work are strong social and work values.
- The work pace and productivity is different than in Canada. A recommended component of training and mentorship should reflect this. When I spoke to housekeeping students about this, they were intrigued and open to learn the ‘Canadian Ways’.
- Recruiters need to be screened and evaluated before you sign any contracts. There are over 1200 licensed recruitment agencies, though not all have the reputation or commitment to ethical treatment and protection of workers.
- As an employer, you need to understand the process required by federal and provincial governments before you go down this road.
- Diversity training, awareness and integration of all cultures must be a part of your corporate culture.
Throughout the summer of 2008, MTEC and tourism related associations will be working in conjunction with provincial and federal partners to recognize our occupations with a favourable Labour Market Opinion in high demand occupations – cooks, housekeeping, food and beverage services as a starting point. In addition we will be coordinating a pilot program with interested and selected employers to understand the entire process and access temporary workers from the Philippines.
If you are interested in receiving more information about this, or sharing your experiences with Temporary Foreign Workers and/or Provincial Nominees, contact me directly at the number below. Through understanding your needs and gaining knowledge and improvements in the pilot project, we can act as a resource as employers choose this recruitment option in the future
Contact: Bev Shuttleworth. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Phone: 204 957-7437 or 800.820-6832.