BBOT Fights for Better Language Training to Help Newcomers Enter Labour Force
The Burnaby Board of Trade recognizes the acute labour shortage faced by many businesses in Burnaby and across our region, and sees immigration as a key part of our workforce mix. That’s why the BBOT is advocating to the federal government for more funding for language training supports for newcomers to help them more quickly integrate into the workforce. The BBOT has lobbied the BC Chamber of Commerce and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce to adopt our position, and will be engaging with the newly elected federal government to push for greater investment in this area.
To address ongoing labour shortages, businesses need to be able to deepen their potential labour pools, and immigration represents an integral solution to our economy’s labour needs. Newcomers bring new ideas, fresh perspectives, and willing labour to our workforce, and it is in the interest of both businesses and newcomers to support their quick integration into the labour market.
However, for those newcomers who wish to access language training supports through the Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) program, long waiting lists and inadequate training has underminded their ability to fully participate in the labour market. The BBOT believes that allowing the potential of some newcomers to be unfulfilled while they wait for language supports is a significant economic missed opportunity.
For women newcomers, they often face a greater disadvantage as many are also the primary caregivers for their children. While the LINC program does offer some funding for childminding, it is limited to only certain service providers and also faces long wait times. In alignment with our effort to support women in all facets of business, the BBOT has also called on the government to prioritize more dedicated funding for childminding services as part of the LINC program to allow more newcomer parents to access these important language training supports.