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Canada puts emigration on the cards for skilled UK construction workers

While Britain’s construction sector is hoping for an upturn in fortunes in 2013, skilled tradesmen from the UK do have another option available for their consideration if they want to get on with advancing their businesses and honing their skills: emigrating to Canada.

A new permanent residency scheme was launched on January 2 to speed up the entry in to the country for skilled tradesmen and women to ply their trades with Canadian businesses that are “desperately crying out” for workers, according to immigration minister, Jason Kenney.

The scheme is targeting foreign workers who have at least two years of registered experience as electrician, welders, pipefitters, plumbers and many more. Mr Kenney has said that the key demand is coming from the nation’s booming oil and natural gas sectors, which are needing to build more and more commercial and domestic facilities for their operations and workers.

The president of the Canadian Construction Association, Michael Atkinson, said that the Canadian construction industry would need around 320,000 new workers by 2020 – and that around half of these would likely come from abroad. He said that the federal skilled trades scheme would help workers avoid the long queues and high education requirements associated with the usual points-based residency schemes run by Canadian Immigration.

The scheme will accept 3,000 foreign workers in 2013, and that number is expected to rise in following years. The announcement of the scheme comes in the wake of a report from the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) that indicated that a third of businesses are facing a shortage of skilled labour – double the proportion that were experiencing such circumstances in 2010.