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B.C. film and construction ready for Express Entry boom

Sectors banking on federal government’s changes to help growing industries

Tuesday, November 22, 2016
Patrick Blennerhassett, Business in Vancouver

Vancouver’s film and construction industries are hoping to benefit from the federal government’s recent changes to the Express Entry system.

The program ranks applicants based on various factors including age, language proficiency, education and work experience, and then matches them with Canadian companies. The new rules came into effect November 19 and make it easier for certain highly skilled workers already living in Canada, as well as international students who have completed post-secondary education in Canada, to gain permanent residency.


Fiona Famulak, president of the Vancouver Regional Construction Association, said the changes to the Express Entry program are good news for the construction industry as well.

“We know that the retirees from the industry are tracking at a faster pace than the new entrants,” she said. “So by 2025 there are going to be approximately 15,000 unfilled jobs in construction due to labour shortages, and we need to be able to address that gap.”

Famulak noted the province’s construction industry employs about 210,000 people, and the various major infrastructure projects already slated for the next few years mean more hiring will have to take place.

“There’s a shortage of skilled trade generally,” she said. “And in recent years the industry has been hiring from Europe and the U.K. and Ireland. But their economies are turning around too, so we’re really glad that our members will hopefully be able to pull from a variety of countries in order to support the work that’s going to be coming down the pipe.”

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