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Residential builders support deal that will allow more skilled trades to immigrate to Ontario

Vaughan, March 18, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Residential Construction Council of Ontario (RESCON) is pleased that the Ontario and federal governments will be allowing more workers with specialized skill sets and skilled trades experience to immigrate to the province in order to fill positions in construction and other industries.

“We are facing a critical labour shortage in specific skilled trades in the residential construction industry and doubling the number of immigrants allowed under the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) will certainly help tackle the problem,” says RESCON president Richard Lyall. “Domestic training alone will not be enough to offset anticipated shortages. We need skilled immigrants.”

Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development Minister Monte McNaughton has announced that the Ontario government has reached a historic agreement with the federal government that will enable the province to substantially increase the number of economic immigrants it selects through the OINP from 9,750 in 2022 to 16,500 in 2023 and more than 18,000 by 2025.

RESCON has been advocating for amendments to the OINP that would allow and make it easier for more immigrants with international experience in voluntary trades to come to Ontario to work and live. In the GTA alone, nearly 43,000 construction workers, or 23 per cent of the current labour force, is set to retire. The residential construction industry needs workers with the specialized skill sets that are required to build houses, condos and infrastructure like sewers and roads.

The announcement will streamline the administrative process for new immigrants and help address the labour shortage we are experiencing in the residential and infrastructure sectors of construction.

“The residential construction industry will need tens of thousands of additional workers to replace those who are expected to retire,” says Amina Dibe, manager of government and stakeholder relations at RESCON. “Expanding the immigrant nominee program to allow more foreign-trained skilled trades into Ontario is critical to ensuring we can build the much-needed housing and infrastructure of the future.”

RESCON is the province’s leading association of residential builders committed to providing leadership and fostering innovation in the industry.

Grant Cameron