Sask. Announces New SINP Pilot Program for Hard-To-Fill Job Openings

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On November 25, 2021, the Government of Saskatchewan announced a new pilot program to help employers hire foreign workers for hard-to-fill positions.

Under the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP), the new pilot targets low and entry-level positions which are crucial to Saskatchewan’s economy. 

The new program is scheduled to begin December 2021 and it applies to organizations in health, hospitality, industrial, agriculture sectors, and more. These industries have been particularly affected by labour shortages.

According to the announcement, eligible occupations include:

  • Nurse aides, orderlies, and patient service associates 

  • Other assisting occupations in support of health services

  • Home support workers, housekeepers and related occupations 

  • Construction trades helpers and labourers 

  • Heavy equipment operators (except crane) 

  • Industrial painters, coaters and metal finishing process operators 

  • Mechanical assemblers and inspectors 

  • Metalworking and forging machine operators

  • Labourers in metal fabrication 

  • Sawmill machine operators 

  • Labourers in food and beverage processing 

  • Process control and machine operators, food and beverage processing 

  • Material handlers 

  • Shippers and receivers 

  • Other labourers in processing, manufacturing and utilities 

  • Food and beverage servers 

  • Hotel front desk clerk 

  • Light duty cleaners 

  • Food counter attendants, kitchen helpers and related support occupations 

  • Janitors, caretakers and building superintendents 

  • Dispatchers 

  • Transport truck drivers 

  • General farm workers

According to the Government of Saskatchewan’s website, applicants should meet the following requirements to be eligible:

  • Have a full-time, permanent offer of employment and SINP job approval letter for an eligible occupation from a registered Saskatchewan employer; 

  • Meet a minimum Canadian Official Language proficiency level; and

  • Meet the minimum educational and work experience requirements, which includes having at least one year of work experience in the same occupation as the job offer or six-months work experience in that job in Saskatchewan.

The SINP Program - Key to Saskatchewan’s Economic Recovery

The release also notes that provincial immigration programs contribute to Saskatchewan’s independence. This allows processes to be tailored to the region’s unique economic needs. In fact, 7 out of 10 immigrants to Saskatchewan between 2007 and 2017 were part of the SINP program. 

Saskatchewan’s employment rate is similar to levels before the COVID-19 pandemic, but many employers still struggle to fill positions that are critical to business operations. The SINP program currently includes streams for international skilled workers, entrepreneurs, and farm owners and operators, and workers with Saskatchewan work experience. The newest stream for hard-to-fill positions will allow businesses to hire low-skilled and entry level foreign workers who may not be covered under the existing options.

According to a recent article by the CBC, there were 4,056 sales- and service- related opportunities posted on the SaskJobs job bank in September 2021. That’s 117 per cent higher than the same period in 2020.

Steve McLellan, CEO of the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce, commented, “The biggest issue, quite frankly, for us to be fully open across the province it seems, is staffing.”

As the province recovers from the pandemic, employers should prepare ahead of time to fill their labour needs. Business owners can find out how they can navigate provincial and federal application processes by working with a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC).

Book a meeting with our team of consultants today to find out how this new program can help you fill the gaps in your workforce!