Finding employees to fill jobs in the North is becoming more and more difficult for employers. That’s according to Garvin Cole, a Project Manager for HR North, who matches up talent with jobs. Cole says his company has teamed up with Skills International, to help people from overseas gets jobs in Canada to fill that void.

“They decided that they would go overseas, they would go to the Middle East, they would go to countries and start to recruit the best and the brightest,” explains Cole, on Skills International. “For the talent that the government was saying we were short of.”

Cole says they have a pool of candidates right now, that they think Canada would be a good match for. He says the Northeast is having the most issues.

“The Ontario Chamber of Commerce has said that 46% of companies in Northeastern Ontario struggle with recruiting. That’s the highest percentage in the province.”

And he says the work force is going to see even more gaps in the coming years.

“Baby Boomer’s are retiring. We’re going to lose almost 50% of our labour force in the next 15 years,” explains Cole. “There is no way we can cope with that without immigration.”

He says with Canada’s new Express Entry immigration laws, they can fill positions in about three months time.

The counter argument is that this might be taking away from jobs that can be filled by Canadians. But, Cole says he poles businesses on a daily basis who say they can’t find the talent they need locally.

“But then I hear people say, ‘well you know, my son or daughter can’t find a job’. And a a lot of that is more of an infrastructure people, in terms of their education and what were they trained to do,” says Cole. “I really challenge our school system, our parents, and everyone else, to work with their children to help them find something that’s going to be able to sustain them once they come out of school.”

Cole says this project is more than just head hunting overseas. He says it’s a life long relationship with the people they bring into Canada to help manage their career from the time they start to when they retire. They also have an immigration lawyer working with companies to help with all of the paperwork.

“We always like to think that red tape is getting less and less. But, when you go through the paperwork process… Wow. It’s not easy. So having someone whose done it many, many, many times, and has been successful at it, makes a difference.”