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Mobile Youth Workers – An Option for Your Seasonal Hiring Needs

Mobile youth workers are young people from abroad. Eager to learn, they come to British Columbia to gain some valuable life/work experiences, have fun and enjoy all the natural beauty our province has to offer. But who are they?

Typically between the ages of 18 and 30 or 35, mobile youth workers are foreign nationals working on temporary work permits. The permits are obtained through various programs negotiated between the Canadian government and other countries around the world, and you do not require a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) to hire them.

For employers looking to hire these international workers, there are a few options available to assist in the search: 1) not-for-profit/government placement agencies; 2) for-profit work abroad organizations and schools that offer work placements; and 3) direct recruiting via the Internet.

While employers can turn to for-profit organizations to recruit overseas, it takes time to research each organization before doing business with them. On the other hand, established not-for-profit organizations such as Student Workers Abroad Program (SWAP) offer employers the ability to hire workers from around the world through their network of established, credible partners. Employers can contact go2HR for a list of organizations that offer assistance in recruiting international mobile youth. Employers are also encouraged to post their seasonal positions on the free go2HR Job Board.

Recognize a candidate’s motivation

Mobile young workers can have different reasons for choosing to temporarily work abroad, depending on their culture. Their reasons for looking for employment can be as diverse as their backgrounds. In general, a split can be made between those from Eastern cultures (e.g. Japan and Korea) and their counterparts in the West (e.g. United Kingdom, Australia and France):

Eastern Mobile Youth

International workers from these countries are usually driven by professional motivations. They often choose to participate in English-language programs in tandem with any available employment. In addition to improving their language skills, their primary goal is to strengthen their resumes for employment in their home country.

Western Mobile Youth

Youth travelling from countries such as Australia, United Kingdom and New Zealand are generally travelling and working abroad for a life experience. Many are taking a break from studies and want to participate in the International Experience Canada (IEC) programs before they take on other responsibilities. While they are travelling to seek new adventures, they are also interested in gaining new skills to add to their resumes. 

Karen Bauckham, Recruiting Manager for Whistler Blackcomb, focuses the company’s hiring strategy both domestically and internationally. Whistler Blackcomb has recruited employees from Australia and the United Kingdom for a number of years. “Whether our new recruits are coming from overseas or across Canada,” she says, “they are seeking the full package: adventure, fun, and life skills that they can then apply in their lives when they return home.”

Celebrate their diversity as a strength

With their range of motivations and skills, international workers can aid a business in different ways. If your business attracts customers from overseas, keep in mind these young workers often have multiple language skills that can be a real advantage to making your guests feel at home. Many tourism operators and resorts have already tapped into this market and found it to be an effective way to fill seasonal jobs as well as develop new businesses.

As ambassadors of your business, your mobile workforce offers a direct link to new customers and the potential to connect with new, quality international job seekers on an on-going basis.

To learn more about different work permit options for international young workers, please view this chart. If you have questions about hiring foreign workers, please contact us via the online form.

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