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Recognized Employer Pilot Addresses Labour Shortages, Protects Workers

On August 8, the Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development, and Official Languages, announced the Temporary Foreign Worker Program Recognized Employer Pilot (REP). This three-year initiative is intended to help employers address current labour shortages across many sectors and occupations, create greater stability in the economy, and build a stronger Canadian workforce for today and tomorrow.

Minister Boissonnault described how the pilot will cut red tape for repeat employers who meet the highest standards of worker protections, while not undermining efforts to improve worker protections.

“We are glad to see this innovative move under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP),” stated Philip Mondor, Tourism HR Canada President and CEO. “This initiative will support tourism businesses who demonstrate a long history of compliance with TFWP requirements in simplifying their Labour Market Impact Assessment, or LMIA, applications to hire additional workers in the future.”

Qualified REP employers will gain access to LMIA validity periods of up to 36 months, as well as a simplified LMIA application. This program innovation aligns well with one of the recommendations made in the policy paper The Role of Immigration Policy in Addressing Labour Shortages in the Tourism Sector, commissioned by Tourism HR Canada. The paper refers to a “Trusted Employer Model” for repeat employers with successful track records of applying for LMIAs in hiring temporary foreign workers; these employers would benefit from a fast-tracked LMIA process.

Starting in January 2024, applications will be accepted for positions on the Economic and Social Development Canada (ESDC) Phase 2 REP occupations list, which include the following tourism occupations. These occupations have been determined to be in-demand and to have an insufficient domestic labour supply, based on Canadian Occupational Projection System data.

  • 65310   Light duty cleaners
  • 62020   Food service supervisors
  • 62200   Chefs
  • 63200   Cooks
  • 64100   Retail salespersons and visual merchandisers
  • 65200   Food and beverage servers
  • 65201   Food counter attendants, kitchen helpers and related support occupations

As a next step, Tourism HR Canada will map out tourism occupations based on the Canadian Occupational Projection System (COPS) to better understand each occupation’s projected status and the system’s methodology. This will help the sector to build a sound data foundation on which to propose policy changes to immigration programs.

For details on the Recognized Employer Pilot, including eligibility criteria, please visit the ESDC website. Additionally, ESDC is offering opportunities for technical briefing sessions for interested stakeholders—requests for a briefing can be conveyed to:

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