Immigrant Nominee Program Attracts Swine Workers to Saskatchewan

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 1178. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.
calendar icon 13 February 2003
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Manitoba Pork Council

Farm-Scape is sponsored by
Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork

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Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council
and Sask Pork.

Farm-Scape, Episode 1178

Saskatchewan Agriculture Food and Rural Revitalization says the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program is showing itself useful in recruiting qualified swine industry employees.

The Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program operates under a federal provincial agreement which allows the province to nominate a set number of applicants who will make a significant economic contribution.

Jim Birch, with the Livestock Development Branch, says the agriculture department works with several agencies including Metis employment agencies and the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations to ensure potential workers are aware of opportunities in the livestock sector.

"We are working with government relations and aboriginal affairs on an immigration program to bring in skilled people from other countries such as the UK, for example pork barn managers and assistant barn managers and pork production technicians have been added to the list of skill shortage positions in the province.

The program provides a mechanism for speeding up the immigration process when employers identify and nominate workers in other countries to come to Saskatchewan to work. They still have to go through the federal process. They still have to have health checks and criminal clearance checks through Human Resources Development Canada.

There's still that involved and they have to be prepared to pay their own air fare over here so it's not a quick fix and it doesn't happen right away. It's a time consuming process but we've had some very good people come over here. I know one of the latest persons to come is working as a barn supervisor for a large pork operation and the employers are very happy with that person so we're getting quality people because of the criteria they have to meet."

Birch points out Saskatchewan's low unemployment rate makes it difficult for employers to find enough skilled workers while expanding farm size increases the demand at a time when the work force is declining due to retirement.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.
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