A new Newfoundland and Labrador company is trying to bring in foreign workers in sectors including retail and mining.

Work Global Canada is run by former Tory cabinet minister Paul Shelley.


Paul Shelley runs Work Global Canada. (Courtesy Work Global Canada)

He said 60,000 to 70,000 people are retiring in the province within the next eight to 10 years and workers need to be found to replace them.

Shelley said the company is recruiting in several countries.

"We're getting to know a lot about Croatia, so that will be our main office, but we also have a satellite office and connections for places like the Philippines, Poland and Ireland."

He said he's also been talking to a company in Korea about recruiting workers there.

N.L. needs workers

Shelley said bringing migrant workers to the province makes sense for competing businesses.

"The choice is quite simple," he said. "Either go short-handed and produce what you can or bring in workers."

He said foreign workers are often loyal to the companies that hire them, and employers want to avoid the costs of rehiring new workers every few weeks in what has become a highly competitive labour market.

More migrants staying in N.L.

Shelley said the province is becoming more attractive to people from away, and they are increasingly looking to settle and make a home here.

"I can tell you that a few years back, five or six years ago when I was in government, we had a very low retention rate," said Shelley.

"Most people would end up in Toronto, Montreal. That's where most of the migrants would go. But more and more today, of course with the robust economy and things improving, people are coming to Newfoundland and Labrador and deciding to stay and making it their home."

Shelley said since opening Work Global Canada in April, he has received calls from interested companies in Happy Valley-Goose Bay and Labrador City, as well as Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.