“Temporary foreign workers” words that touch a situation that is far more complicated than it seems: a situation that endangers our whole society.
Currently Nova Scotia has some 43000 (forty three thousand) unemployed.
It is very doubtful that the Nova Scotia industry needs 43.000 additional workers,
As a working hypothesis, let us assume that 15000 jobs are vacant and need to be filled.
We could fill all of the fifteen thousand vacant jobs with ”temporary foreign workers” and pay to fifteen thousand Canadians to stay unemployed.
So to pick up apples we pay the foreign worker 100 dollar a day and … we pay the unemployed youth 100 dollars a day in unemployment /welfare benefits/the grandparents,…
An expensive apple!
The numbers may not be totally correct, but the situation is real: we have a bunch of people who cannot/do not/want not go back to work and we have a bunch of enterprises who cannot find workers!
Note: we all carry the cost off this weird situation!
Foreign workers are welcome but only after we have got a job to our unemployed (obviously we will still have a certain amount of unemployed -2-3 percent of the working force, but this is a natural condition that allows for in the labour market).
The trouble is that some of our unemployed refuse most of the jobs that the foreign workers grab with both hands and others need retraining to switch to a new job.
Unfortunately many unemployed do not match the jobs offered – a graduated lawyer is not exactly keen to become a welder, serving at a table requires training, new materials require new skills, .. but our society cannot afford to pay once for the job to get done and once for somebody who refused the job!
The Fed and our provincial Government are not able (willing?) to offer/force training and retraining on our people out of work.
This would be money well spent, but forcing a young unemployed graduated political scientist to get a job in the tourism industry is not easy.
Leaving the same fellows in the quagmire of unemployment is not pretty either.
And the politician are terrified of the reaction of the voters.
Unfortunately our society has become based on consumption and “instant gratification”.
Training, retraining, not just skills but attitudes, apprenticeships are all long term projects but their so other way out from the ludicrous situation of high unemployment and foreign workers!
As the Governments do not act it is up to us, the industry and the professionals to take the lead
Carlo Testa, MRAIC