The one year Yukon Temporary Foreign Worker Program has been approved by Citizenship and Immigration Canada and officially begins on August 1, 2013. The program was created to help augment the short-term needs of the jurisdiction’s labor market, especially in the industries of mining, mineral exploration, oil and gas, hospitality and tourism.
According to Education Minister Scott Kent, the program is perfect for employers who are unable to hire workers for short-term employment. Yukon Education and the Yukon Workers’ Compensation Health and Safety Board are working hand in hand to design a program that provides for the needs of the local labor market while protecting both employers’ and employees’ rights.
The economy of Yukon is known for fluctuating seasonally, and there is often a need to fill positions from time to time. Through this pilot program, employers gain quick access to potential candidates and hire temporary foreign workers for a maximum of one year when no local candidates qualify.
Kent adds, Canadians and Yukoners will be prioritized by employers, and when there are none who can fill vacant positions in companies, that’s the time applications to the pilot program may be forwarded.
When hiring foreign workers, employers are also obliged to comply with requirements of the Human Resources and Skilled Development Canada, including payment of the median wage specific to the position to be filled.
The chair of Whitehouse Chamber of Commerce, Philip Fitzgerald, says Yukon businessmen are enthusiastic about the program. He adds, “Yukon employers want to hire local whenever possible and we encourage Yukoners to monitor job postings and apply for positions that they are qualified for and interested in. This new program will provide businesses with another option to fill positions when local workers aren’t available. We are grateful that government is pursuing creative options that can help businesses and the Yukon economy grow.”
The Yukon program is different from that of other jurisdictions in that the Yukon Workers’ Compensation Health and Safety Board is closely monitoring all workers and working environments involved. There will be worksite monitoring as part of efforts to ensure that both employers are complying with the requirements, and both workers’ and employers’ rights are protected. Yukon is the first Canadian jurisdiction to undertake this kind of endeavor.
Another attribute that makes this program unique is that it provides employment to foreign workers up to 12 months only, but it can be a route towards permanent residency. On the other hand, the nominee program is good for those who want to become Permanent Residents. These two are programs of the Federal government administered by the local government of Yukon.
To inquire about the Yukon Temporary Foreign Worker Program, employers can get in touch with Yukon Education’s Immigration Unit. In particular, they can contact Matthew Grant (Cabinet Communications) at 867-393-6470 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, or Paige Parsons (Communications, Education) at 86456-6789 (email@example.com).