Work Force Diversification Key to Future Growth

Posted: February 7, 2023

Across Canada, and globally, there is strong competition for talented workers.

In January 2023, Statistics Canada's Labour Force Survey reported that there was a 4.5 per cent unemployment rate among men and women between the ages of 25 to 54. In Halifax, the unemployment rate is even lower at 3.3 per cent. As a result, businesses are facing challenges attracting and retaining talent.

Forward-looking business owners and HR professionals foresee that filling empty job vacancies will remain a challenging long-term issue. Talent recruitment is changing and there is no easy solution or a one-size-fits-all approach to closing labour gaps.

To overcome these challenges, businesses are recruiting beyond the local market, and looking globally for qualified talent. To attract experienced, international talent and support the immigration process for chosen candidates, local companies – large and small – are connecting with Halifax Partnership’s Celia Deer, an account executive for the Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP).

The AIP is a federal immigration stream that makes it easier for employers in Atlantic Canada to recruit skilled foreign talent and international graduates to meet their labour needs. Before a business can make a job offer to hire a candidate under the AIP, they must first become designated by the Province of Nova Scotia. In partnership with the Province, Halifax Partnership supports local businesses in learning about and applying to participate in the AIP.

“We can help employers be approved through this federal program by being designated and then help have their job vacancies endorsed by the province,” says Deer, who used the AIP to secure work in Halifax and immigrate from Jamaica. She now helps local employers benefit from the program.

The Shaw Group, one of Nova Scotia’s oldest privately owned and operated real estate developers, community developers and natural resource manufacturers, worked with Halifax Partnership to become a designated AIP hiring company. They join a growing list of more than 550 local companies who see AIP as a valuable recruitment tool now and for the future.

Jennifer Mullin, Director of Human Resources, Shaw Group

Jennifer Mullin, Director of Human Resources for the Shaw Group says, “it’s a tight labour market. On any given day, we’re managing between 20 to 50 position vacancies.”

The Shaw Group employs approximately 600 staff across several lines of business, including manufacturing facilities in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.

“We look forward to using the AIP to continue to add to the diversity of our team,” says Mullin.

Whether one’s skills are in trades, cooking or customer service to professional experience in banking, engineering or IT, the AIP can connect businesses with job seekers ready to work and live in Canada.

“Besides offering great job candidates who are eager to work, it helps to invigorate and diversify the existing workforce with new people from new places who bring new ideas and experience,” says Deer.

For more information on AIP, connect with Celia to learn more.



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