Acquiring Skilled Labour with the RNIP

Canada's Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot program is currently being introduced to small communities across the nation. Can it help solve rural manufacturers’ labour challenges?

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On Thursday, October 7th, manufacturers across Northern Ontario gathered to discuss data surrounding employment, sales, sector trends, and general bulletins pertinent to their work environments. Hosted by EMC’s Kevin McCormick and a range of manufacturing leaders, this market update had a strong focus on sourcing labour through immigration programs. The following article serves to describe and expand upon this core theme of the event.

Manufacturers across Canada have all been feeling the sting of the industry’s labour shortage, but businesses located in rural areas undergo exceptional struggle. For certain rural employers, though, a solution to these issues may be on the horizon, along with an effective way to bolster their local economies, verify the skillsets of their workers, and promote diversity within their organizations. The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP) is an innovative new program currently being trialed by the federal government which aims to provide hopeful immigrants with secure employment and residence in accommodating rural environments. Through correct utilization of this program, rural employers can establish a mutually-beneficial relationship with an experienced, committed worker base and expand their influence throughout their communities and competitive landscapes.

The RNIP process begins when a foreign worker, partnered with a domestic employer, applies for residence in an eligible Canadian community. Applicants are subject to a wide variety of vigorous eligibility criteria — including appropriate education, relevant work experience, and language proficiency evaluations — to ensure that their abilities and intent are genuine before settling. Once accepted to their host communities, these employees are granted permanent residence to Canada, and can begin working for their employer without delay. Manufacturers in these areas can feel secure in the knowledge that these workers have a thorough understanding of their jobs and the skills needed to excel in them. Employees, who may be immigrating with their families, can realize an opportunity to develop and refine their capabilities in a supportive workplace, and establish their new lives in Canada without fear of financial hardship. As each party is able to learn about and capitalize upon the other’s efforts, a reciprocal level of trust and loyalty is maintained, incentivizing engagement, motivation, and long-term professional commitment.

Employers taking part in the RNIP should also consider the impact it has on their organization’s brand identity. In an age when advertising to potential employees is just as important as advertising to customers, broadcasting the participation of one’s business in a progressive immigration strategy is a major asset, and provides a significant competitive advantage over those not utilizing the program. As the employee base of a rural manufacturer grows, so too does its perceived value among the local labour pool, ensuring a steady influx of new workers eager to join a rapidly-expanding enterprise. Keep in mind that most manufacturers who employ foreign talent do so temporarily — through the RNIP, employers have the opportunity to exponentially increase their permanent workforce. Employees acquired through the RNIP contribute significantly to their community’s economy, heightening goodwill amongst workers, regional governments, and the general population.

For rural manufacturers seeking a reliable method of recruiting and retaining employees in an uncertain labour market, the RNIP offers an extremely fortunate process for building connections with passionate workers. Employers that participate in this program will be placing themselves at the forefront of consistent labour obtainment, attaining qualified support from a variety of sources, and acting as the most important force in a new Canadian’s path to citizenship.

For more on skilled labour acquisition strategies, contact Kevin McCormick, EMC’s Manufacturing Consortium Manager for Northern Ontario. Attend EMC events frequently for knowledge and expertise crucial to leaders in the Canadian manufacturing industry.

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