I want to bring to your attention a new program that will be great if you are looking for work in the Region of Waterloo’s growing technology market, as well as other parts of Canada.
Before I introduce it, there’s a catch: you cannot be a Canadian citizen. You have to live outside of Canada to qualify.
On June 12, 2017, Canada launched its new Global Talent Stream (GTS), offering fast-track, two-week Canada visa and Canada work permit processing for employers seeking to hire specialized high-skilled foreign workers.
Communitech, an example of taxpayer-funded corporate welfare that does little to address poverty and homelessness in the Region of Waterloo, and instead make the rich technocrats even richer, will be an agent of referral for those who qualify.
I do not qualify because I am a native born Canadian citizen, nor do I have a Canada work permit which is what Communitech and other agents of referrals ask for.
This program, in a nutshell, helps businesses find global talent to fill vacant job positions in the technology field at the expense of local talent.
Businesses claim they cannot find local talent so they must hire abroad. While that might be true, it does not address the WHY of it. In other words, why can’t they find local talent and that is something I want to address today.
Let’s start with the cost of getting the qualifications in order to land that job. It’s no secret that the cost of post secondary education is quite expensive, with technology diploma and degree programs being especially so. I’ve argued in a past post that we are in danger of having the working class being synonymous with wealthy class because only that economic class will be able to afford training programs.
We’ve also entered an era where very few entry level positions are available in most professions. Back in the 1980s, the information technology field had many entry level jobs (such as computer operations, data entry, help desk) that not only required very little qualifications but gave one a chance to get in-house training and rise up the job ladder. Those positions are now either automated or rolled into other job descriptions through right-sizing/downsizing and credential creep.
These two points do reduce the number of local applicants, but this problem is one of our own manufacture. We chose to hire governments that did not make post-secondary education more affordable for our young people and those in need of retraining during a career transition due to obsolescence. We allowed businesses to implement policies that laid off many people, even to the point of violating certain employee rights and all in the name of increasing profit. Human Resources is now the equivalent of a line item on an expense report, where salaries are lumped in with toilet paper, office supplies, and coffee vend machines.
Had we invested more in local human capital, not only would this lack of local talent issue not exist, the country as a whole would be more prosperous.
In closing, hiring foreign workers to fill those positions does not address the problem of the local underemployed, unemployed, and the homeless. They will STILL be around and drawing from social assistance programs while they struggle to get out of poverty. Whatever tax revenue increase that will come from the success of GTS will be offset by the ever increasing social infrastructure costs needed to help Canadian citizens who live below the poverty line. Even worse, their number WILL increase as a result of GTS.
On the eve of Canada’s 150th birthday, it seems downright unCanadian to look outside our borders for workers. It’s time to start helping our own by getting them back on the payroll.
Thanks for reading.