Ontario Introduces Legislation to Address Labour Shortages in Trades

Proposed changes would help address labour shortages by helping internationally-trained immigrants practice their trade

This week the Ontario Government introduced new legislation that aims to help address the province-wide labour shortage. If passed, the Working for Workers Act, 2021 will make it easier for internationally-trained newcomers to start careers in their chosen profession. The legislation intends to remove barriers faced by internationally-trained immigrants, such as the requirement for Canadian work experience, when attempting to get licenced in regulated trades.

If passed, the legislation would:

  • Eliminate Canadian work experience requirements for professional registration and licensing, unless an exemption is granted based on a demonstrated public health and safety risk. These requirements may create situations where workers are unable to obtain Canadian work experience because they don’t have it. This is often cited as the number one barrier Canadian immigrants face in obtaining a job that matches their level of qualification.
  • Reduce burdensome duplication for official language proficiency testing, so people would not have to complete multiple tests for purposes of immigration and professional licencing.
  • Allow applicants to register faster in their regulated professions when there are emergencies (such as a pandemic) that create an urgent need for certain professions or trades.
  • Ensure the licensing process is completed in a timely manner to help internationally-trained immigrants start working in careers that match their skillset.

For more information, contact Chelsea Goberdhan at 1-800-267-2231 ext. 236, or email cgoberdhan@hrai.ca.

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