Today the Government of Saskatchewan has introduced The Labour Mobility and Fair Registration Practices Act. The Act will make Saskatchewan the best place in Canada to re- locate to from within the country or abroad for skilled workers. The Act will reduce barriers to working in the province to ensure skilled workers can have their skills and credentials recognized, while assisting employers in filling jobs across a number of key sectors, such as healthcare, construction and IT.
"To meet the demands of Saskatchewan's growing economy, it is important that we develop our current labour force as well as recruit domestically and internationally to bring more skilled workers to the province," Immigration and Career Training Minister Jeremy Harrison said. "This new legislation will be the most comprehensive of its kind and make Saskatchewan a destination of choice for skilled professionals and tradespeople."
The new Labour Mobility and Fair Registration Practices Office will be established within the Ministry of Immigration and Career Training to administer the Act and assist regulatory bodies in meeting their obligations. This will include working with the regulatory bodies to examine timeframes for registration decisions, registration application requirements, qualification assessment processes and internationally-trained recognition pathways.
This Act supports Saskatchewan's goals of growing the provincial population to 1.4 million and adding 100,000 jobs by 2030. It will also support Growth Plan actions to address credential recognition issues for new Canadians, increase interprovincial credential recognition and ensure employers have better access to a qualified labour force.
Saskatchewan is one of the only provinces in the country without legislation requiring regulatory bodies to comply with domestic trade agreements, or to support fair registration practices for internationally trained workers. With approximately 120 regulated occupations and 60 regulatory bodies in the province, the Act will apply to all of Saskatchewan's regulated occupations and industry members such as the Saskatchewan Construction Association and the North Saskatoon Business Association (NSBA) support the move.
"As we enter the busiest time of the year for the construction sector in Saskatchewan, it is more important than ever that our members have access to a wide pool of skilled tradespeople," Saskatchewan Construction Association Chief Executive Officer Mark Cooper said. "The introduction of this new Act will ensure that we maintain our safety standards and can quickly grow our workforce of skilled workers in a timely and efficient manner."
"With demand for Saskatchewan's food, fuel and fertilizer increasing, and expected to increase even more in the coming years, it is absolutely critical that Saskatchewan is able to meet the labour needs of the future," NSBA Executive Director Keith Moen said. "The Labour Mobility and Fair Registration Practices Act will ensure that Saskatchewan is well-positioned to attract and retain the necessary talent that will help propel our province forward not only in the near future, but in the long-term as well."
This Act recognizes the independence of professional regulatory bodies in setting the standards of practice for their occupations that ensure public protection. However, this Act will ensure that regulatory bodies have registration practices that are transparent, objective, timely, impartial and procedurally fair. It will ensure that Canadian-licensed and qualified internationally-trained workers can become licensed to work in Saskatchewan without unnecessary requirements, such as additional training, experience or assessments.