The labor minister of Manitoba went to Iceland for the purpose of assessing the probability of recruiting construction workers from Iceland as temporary foreign workers (TFW).
Manitoba recruits temporary foreign workers from Iceland.
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As a country, Iceland has always been known for very low rates of unemployment. The population of the country is about 320,000 and its labor force is somewhere around 150,000.
But from October last year, after the collapse of all the three major banks of the country, there has been drastic changes in the labor market conditions of the country.
Iceland’s consul general in Manitoba, Alti Asmundsson, said that unemployment rates in Iceland have always been very low at somewhere around the one percent mark. However, he added that after the economic downturn, massive unemployment has been observed, rising even up to eight percent. By the end of this year, it is expected that unemployment would rise to a minimum of ten percent.
The government of Manitoba sent a letter to Asmundsson in February and expressed its interest in working alongside him so as to help the unemployed skilled workers.
Asmundsson explained that almost everyone in Iceland knows of Manitoba and so, when the government of Manitoba noticed the unemployment in Iceland, they immediately showed their willingness to help.
He said that in spite of the increase in the overall unemployment rate in Canada, there has been shortage of skilled labor in many key sectors in Manitoba.
Nancy Allen said they are planning to go to Iceland and see if there are people of the category needed in Manitoba.