January 29 2008 - The British Columbia provincial goverment has signed a memorandum of understanding
with the Philippine government aimed at reducing the shortage of skilled workers in B.C. The Republic of the Philippines is the third largest
source country for immigrants to B.C.
Economic Development Minister Colin Hansen said that the agreement will help strengthen relations between B.C. employers and
Philippine recruiters, giving more effective access to foreign workers. Colin Hansen said:
"The British Columbia economy is growing at a rate faster than the overall Canadian economy and definitely faster than the
overall American economy. To maintain this momentum, we need to attract 30,000 workers per year with specific skills from outside B.C."
Minister Hansen signed the two-year memorandum of understanding with Philippine Labour Secretary Arturo Brion who said:
"The government of the Philippines is particularly receptive to partnering on international recruitment. Our agreement with B.C.
truly confirms the opening of a new chapter of sharing Filipino labour with other countries through contract migration."
The agreement targets the sectors most in need of skilled employees - tourism and hospitality, retail and construction.
Welcoming the agreement, Earl Wilde, president of the B.C. Hotel Association said:
"This agreement with the Filipino government will provide B.C. employers effective, quicker access to foreign workers.
We are looking to attract temporary or permanent immigrants in areas where we have labour shortages."