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Changes to Express Entry Programme Expected to Hurt Meat Processors

11 January 2017
Manitoba Pork Council

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CANADA - The Canadian meat Council says changes made by the federal government to the Express Entry Programme will make it harder for Canada's meat processors to retain skilled butchers and meat cutters.

Express Entry is used to manage applications of immigrants working in Canada for permanent residence under the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Programme and the Canadian Experience Class.

Late last year the federal government reduced the number of points available to qualify for permanent residence for workers who have job offers in hand from 600 points to 50 points.

Ron Davidson, the Director of International Trade, Government and Media Relations with Canadian Meat Council, says the change will make it difficult for companies that had used the program to access workers specialized in doing high level cuts that go directly to retail.

Ron Davidson-Canadian Meat Council:

This was a drastic decision which essentially eliminated retail butchers from being eligible under the express entry programme.

We have a number of plants which were using the access to retail butchers and meat cutters to fill the available empty positions that we are unable to fill with Canadians.

By suffocating the industry, which these types of decisions essentially do, it makes it very difficult for Canada to maintain a rural meat packing industry in this country, which has impacts not only on farmers and producers, it has impacts on the workers in the plants.

They're working overtime, they're working under stress and there are empty positions in positions which should be doing the value added work which, down the line, has an impact on rural communities and frankly the survival of rural Canada so these are significant decisions.

Mr Davidson says everyone benefits when we have more of these jobs filled.

ThePigSite News Desk

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