Trades students to air concerns on Temporary Foreign Worker program

Students at Kwantlen Polytechnic University Cloverdale campus host public forum Friday afternoon.

Kwantlen Polytechnic University's Trades and Technology campus in Cloverdale.

Trades students at Kwantlen Polytechnic University are raising concerns about the effects of the Temporary Foreign Worker program on skilled trades in B.C.

They’ve organized a public forum this Friday afternoon at the Cloverdale campus.

Guest speakers include NDP MLA Harry Bains (Surrey-Newton), federal NDP MPs Jinny Sims and Jasbir Sandhu, Kwantlen students and others. Politicians from all political parties have been invited to participate along with union representatives and members of the Surrey Board of Trade.

The Temporary Foreign Worker program is currently under review.

Jessica Lar-Son of the Kwantlen Student Association (KSA) said students are concerned the program may not protect foreign workers and makes it more difficult for new graduates to find jobs.

Welding student Dustynn Diack worries employers are using the program to fill welding jobs in B.C., ahead of qualified local people who want the work.

“This is a potential threat to employment opportunities affecting myself and my fellow tradespeople,” he said.

Richard Hosein, KSA representative for the Cloverdale campus, is concerned about the practice of recruiting and training foreign workers instead of investing in local programs in BC.

The event starts at noon, Friday, May 2 at the KPU trades and technology campus in Cloverdale, at 5500 180 Street.

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