ACA, along with the British Columbia and Saskatchewan Construction Associations, initiated a fact finding mission to Ireland to improve access for ACA members to skilled Irish construction personnel with three main goals:
- Develop tools and processes to assist Alberta employers
- Initiate dialogue with the Irish government to facilitate long term two way movement of skilled workers and
- Develop a partnership with the Alberta government to assist in the achievement of the first two goals.
The Alberta government has identified Ireland as the top priority for foreign worker recruitment for the following reasons:
- Availability of skilled labour
- Proficiency in English
- Skills transferability
- Willingness to emigrate
- Welcoming population in Canada to assist with settlement
- Less incidence of fraudulent credentials
The western Canadian delegation met with training and apprenticeship authorities, the Dublin Institute of Technology, construction employers association, the major union, Engineers Ireland, the Canadian embassy and private firms.
ACA has concluded that the qualifications for many Irish trades and for engineers are a very good fit for Canadian needs. Next steps include:
- Developing simple fact sheets to help ACA members and potential Irish workers to navigate both temporary and permanent immigration programs
- Promoting links between Alberta Apprenticeship and Alberta technical institutes and colleges with Irish counterparts to assist with credentials recognition and potential placements