Restaurants Canada announces partnership to boost recruitment efforts

But concerns expressed about inadequate housing for immigrants

Restaurants Canada announces partnership to boost recruitment efforts

Restaurant Canada is looking to help its members hire the workers they need this year.

To streamline this whole process, the national trade organization partnered with international recruitment firm AMK Global Group, which specializes in assisting hospitality employers.

Under the partnership, the recruitment firm will help restaurant employers in Canada find the talent they need abroad.

“Canada’s foodservice sector relies heavily on welcoming new Canadians, and even more so now with the labour shortage our industry has found itself in as we rebuild post-pandemic; however, we’ve heard from our members that the process of recruiting from outside of the country can be incredibly lengthy, costly and at times complicated,” says Christian Buhagiar, president and CEO, of Restaurants Canada.

“Given this feedback, it was important for us to bring forward a partnership that can support members in streamlining this process at an affordable rate to ensure our members can fill empty positions efficiently. We’re excited about working with AMK Global Group and know our sector will benefit greatly from the services they offer.”

Over half (53 per cent) of foodservice operators are looking to attract or hire new staff, and many have been forced to reduce operating hours to account for the lack of staff, according to Restaurants Canada’s latest Restaurants Outlook Survey: Q4 2022.

In looking to fill many employers’ open roles, the federal government has turned to immigration. However, the government appears to be failing to put immigrant skills to work, according to an RBC report.

Housing concerns

However, immigrants may not find optimal living conditions once they get to Canada, says Tony Tracy, the Atlantic regional representative for the Canadian Labour Congress, in the same report.

"Rents throughout Nova Scotia have risen dramatically over the past two to three years, and are a key factor driving inflation. For low-wage workers, rents are taking up increasing amounts of weekly paycheques, and, in many cases, low-waged workers are being priced entirely out of the housing market and are unable to afford even a one-bedroom unit,” he says.

“More and more workers are having to share accommodations, and many have been left homeless by the drastic increases in housing costs, despite having jobs," he says, adding the situation is worse for temporary foreign workers.

Some hotels and resorts on Vancouver Island and elsewhere in British Columbia are putting temporary foreign workers up in rooms in hopes of having enough staff through the summer season, according to a previous report.

There have also been reports about employers putting immigrants in “crowded and inadequate” housing conditions, all the while still charging the workers for rent, says Tracy in the report,

Previously, the Migrant Workers Alliance for Change pasted its QR codes on top of existing menu QR codes at hundreds of unknowing restaurants to help people “to discover the hidden cost of the food you eat” by highlighting “migrant exploitation.”

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