Wednesday, July 30, 2014
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First Nation help needed if province wants to reduce use of TFWs

CFIB says more needs to be done to connect First Nations people to jobs

News Talk 980 CJME

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business says more needs to be done to connect First Nations people to jobs if the province wants to get away from hiring temporary foreign workers.

Nearly 12,000 temporary foreign workers are employed in Saskatchewan, coming from all over the world. Yet Saskatchewan’s unemployment rate amongst First Nations people sits at 16.7 per cent (almost four times has high as the general population) according to the most recent Labour Force Survey. Roughly 5,600 Aboriginal people are currently unemployed.

So why isn’t Saskatchewan tapping into that work force?

Marie Braun-Pollon with the CFIB said employers just aren't getting the résumés.

“(Employers) are saying, ‘Look, I’ve advertised this. I can’t find a Canadian that can do the job; that’s qualified for the job. I need to go abroad,’” she said. “If Canadians aren’t applying for the position and you can’t find a Canadian that’s qualified for that position, a business owner is left with no other option.”

Braun-Pollon said that’s true even in entry-level job markets like the food service industry. She said more needs to be done to improve education levels in First Nations people and connect them to jobs.

“I think you look at it by looking at everyone having a part in the solution: education institutions, groups like the CFIB, the Chambers (of Commerce), unions and certainly the business owners themselves,” she said.

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