Ontario needs immigration reform and support for trades to fix housing crisis: RESCON

Ontario Construction News staff writer

The Residential Construction Council of Ontario (RESCON) is urging the provincial government to aggressively push for immigration reform and enhance the training system for voluntary trades by providing more support to employers who provide opportunities for learning.

“Domestic training alone will not be enough to keep pace with the number of workers required to build 1.5 million new homes in the next decade, so more immigrants with experience in construction are needed,” said RESCON president Richard Lyall.

“Additional support for employers who train voluntary trades is also required as we need workers with specialized skill sets in carpentry and other various finishing vocations that are required in residential construction.”

In a letter to Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development MLITSD Minister Monte McNaughton, Lyall calls on the province to continue working with employers and unions to address health and safety and labour legislation and make anti-racism and anti-discrimination training a part of health and safety requirements.

RESCON wants the list of eligible professions for immigration expanded to include general labourers with experience in construction, and 1,000 of 9,000 seats allocated under the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) to general labourers. Also, spots should be allocated on a regional basis to address labour market needs.

Without the changes, many opportunities in the residential- and infrastructure-related industries will be missed, Lyall said in his letter.

RESCON says available support for employers who train voluntary trades should be expanded “as it enhances the system beyond the existing formal apprenticeship training and ensures there are equal opportunities for all types of trades”.

Specifically, that would mean increased funding to on-site employers who provide on-the-job training to specialized pre-apprenticeship programs and that specialized skills sets be recognized through the pre-apprenticeship program.

On health and safety and labour legislation, RESCON is encouraging the government to continue making improvements and to include an anti-racism and anti-discrimination component in its Worker Health and Safety Awareness in Four Steps and Supervisor Health and Safety Awareness in 5 Steps modules.

“The GTHA remains the top region for home buyers as well as a top destination for new immigrants, and the need for more density requirements and mid-rise and high-rise units will only increase,” says Lyall. “These projects can not proceed without the voluntary trades which make up most of the 40 different residential skilled trades. They are critical to building up Ontario’s much-needed housing stock.”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

I accept the Privacy Policy

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.