80 hairdressers get short cut to Canada

Starting a new life abroad can be a heady experience — particularly if you’re an Irish hairdresser keen to explore Canada. Hairdressers are in short supply right across the country, with one client in one province alone coming here later this month with 80 jobs to fill.

80 hairdressers get short cut to Canada

Successful candidates for the jobs, which are in an expanding chain of salons in Alberta, can look forward to a minimum two-year contract with health and dental care included, after just a year of which they can apply for permanent residence.

And because hair styling is classed as a high demand occupation, their work visa also allows them bring their family, so a spouse doesn’t need to get a permit in their own name and is free to work at whatever they want.

So what’s the downside? “The weather in winter,” says Alan Daly of the Irish branch of Diamond Global Recruitment which is bringing over the client for two days of interviews on March 22 and 23.

“It does get very cold, although it doesn’t make things grind to a halt like it does here. And the flip side of that is that the summers are great with temperatures of around 30-35 degrees with lots to do outdoors.”

According to Daly, hairdressers who make the move are guaranteed by law that their wages match those of their Canadian colleagues so immigrants are not exploited.

“There’s also a big tipping culture in Canada unlike here, as well as commission on selling products in the salon, so there’s lots of potential for boosting your income, and because this chain is growing there will be opportunities for promotion to management roles too.”

Other provinces are also short of hairdressers, although as each province regulates employment and immigration independently, prospective applicants need to check out the visa conditions in each location.

But Daly says there could be hundreds more vacancies in Alberta alone next year. “It’s having the exact opposite experience of Ireland — too many jobs and too few people to fill them. There are 50,000 unfilled jobs in all sectors there.”

Alberta is in Canada’s midwest so it’s a long haul to get there and the distances between towns within the province is also considerable.

Daly and his wife returned to Ireland last year after five years in Ontario and says it was the desire to allow their three-year-old son get to know his extended family that brought them back.

“But we will go back once he’s a bit older, probably when he starts school. Canada isn’t like Australia, for example, which wants your skills but doesn’t want you.

“Canada wants people to settle, to maybe bring over your parents, to become fully integrated. It’s a two-way commitment.”

Anyone who wants to arrange an interview for the 80 jobs can contact ireland@diamondglobal.ca.

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