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Canada

Colin Woodward

This is my first trip to Canada as a follow on to Alan Shave’s trip this time last year. It’s satisfying to meet some of our established contacts and placements in person and plan the next phase of our International service offering.

Direct flights from Scotland to Toronto mean it’s easy to get to and the 5 hour time difference means that acclimatisation is relatively straight forward. The traffic around Toronto is crazy but efficient motorways and the current upgrades to the rail system make it fairly easy to navigate. Client meetings highlight the need to support candidates through the recruitment journey from the UK to Canada and ensure that family members are bought into the process as well as the individual they seek to engage.

The referendum was a hot topic and many are keen to share their thoughts on independence – with comparisons to the referendum in Quebec in 1995(which was also narrowly in favour of No). The feeling is that Canadians hold Scotland and their place in the Commonwealth in high regard as many large Canadian Cities have strong ancestral links to Scotland. In addition, the Canadian Construction Industry has large numbers of UK employees amongst its workforce and recognises the skills and expertise UK candidates can offer. The biggest challenge employers’ face is the time taken to process visa application and how onerous it can be to granted an LMO. Clients are urging those keen to relocate to look to try and obtain their own visa where possible, especially if they qualify for a Working Holiday Visa.

Construction activity is wide and varied offering opportunities for all types of staff. High-rise condominiums are a key part of the Ontario market as Toronto looks to accommodate the proposed expansion of the City over the next decade as well as upgrading the existing rail network. Alberta & British Columbia both have strong build and civil engineering markets and all provinces offer an excellent work/life balance.

Having spent the past fortnight in different provinces (Ontario, Alberta & British Columbia) Canada offers a diverse range of opportunities across the vast expanse of the country. Toronto & Vancouver are large developed cities, whereas Edmonton & Calgary have a more rural feel with a strong connection to the local environment.

I spent time at the weekend with our first client contact in Canada whom we have supplied staff to both in the UK and the last 7 years in Calgary. He still loves the lifestyle Canada offers after 8 years and has massive projects to deliver – combining this with an ability to work flexibly allowing him to visit his family often has clearly made him very happy which is great to see.

As a result of this trip, today (30th September) we have a client in our offices interviewing candidates for positions in Toronto and Calgary – we’ll be delighted facilitate a new life for some of these candidates in a great country.”

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