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Immigrants could ease N.S. labour shortage

If Nova Scotia wants to curb its expected labour shortage, it needs tomarket itself to foreign countries with a surplus of skilled workers,said a spokesman for the president of the Philippines.

If Nova Scotia wants to curb its expected labour shortage, it needs to market itself to foreign countries with a surplus of skilled workers, said a spokesman for the president of the Philippines.

Dr. Dante Ang, chairman of the Commission on Filipinos Overseas, told reporters at the Lord Nelson Monday that Nova Scotia should market its friendly, accommodating vibe to immigrant workers.

“When you talk of Canada … nobody talks about Nova Scotia,” Ang said. “Nova Scotia is in the dark.”

The 2006 census revealed 13.2 per cent of Nova Scotia’s workforce was between the ages of 55 and 64, with an overall average working age of 48. As baby boomers start to exit the job market, Ang said skilled Filipino workers can help fill the void.

Stuart Gourley, senior executive director at the Department of Labour and Workforce Development, says Nova Scotia needs to boost its profile as the province moves closer to a labour shortage.

“Trust me, we’re going to need everybody from everywhere that we can find,” said Gourley, who predicts the province will reach full employment within three years.

Gourley wants to make sure the province doesn’t use the influx of foreign workers as a “silver bullet.” Nova Scotia will need a significant level of immigration, he said, adding that it’s important to encourage training and growth from within the province.

 
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