Foodservice industry welcomes help with B.C.'s labour shortage



    VICTORIA, Feb. 5 /CNW/ - A pilot program announced today by Economic
Development Minister Colin Hansen comes as welcome news for British Columbia's
hospitality and tourism employers, who are struggling with a severe labour
shortage.
    The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) semi-skilled pilot project will
enable hospitality and tourism employers to offer permanent positions to
employees that have come to Canada as temporary foreign workers. Semi-skilled
occupations such as food counter attendant and line cook were previously
excluded from the PNP program.
    "The B.C. government listened to our industry and clearly understands we
are facing a people shortage, not just a skills shortage," says Mark von
Schellwitz, Western Canada Vice President for the Canadian Restaurant and
Foodservices Association (CRFA). "This pilot project will allow some of the
exceptional temporary foreign workers in the foodservice industry to succeed
as new permanent Canadian residents. We're confident the program will be a
success and these occupations will be added to the permanent PNP eligibility
list."
    In British Columbia, more than 168,000 people - or close to 8% of the
provincial workforce - are employed in the foodservice industry, according to
Statistics Canada. An additional 32,000 to 44,000 foodservice industry
employees will be needed by 2015, according to labour market studies.





For further information:

For further information: Mark von Schellwitz, CRFA Vice President,
Western Canada, (604) 685-9655 or (604) 809-5719; Jill Holroyd, CRFA Vice
President, Research and Communications, (416) 649-4217


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