Canadian automotive organizations are ready and prepared to hire hundreds of Ukrainian refugees fleeing the invasion of their nation by Russia.

Flavio Volpe, president of the Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association (APMA), explained Friday the firms “could most likely position 500 people” if Ottawa can aid them get to Canada.

“This applies to refugees into Canada from each and every nation,” he claimed, noting Russia’s war versus Ukraine led to this “special attractiveness.”

“We are all Afghans, we’re all Syrians, we’re all Ukrainians. We all become Canadian when we get right here,” said Volpe, the son of an immigrant who arrived from fight-ravaged Italy after the Second Entire world War.

“You sit listed here and you observe the news and you experience helpless and you ponder, ‘What can you do?’”

Volpe mentioned Ontario has a significant “labour shortage” and the province has identified that some 300,000 careers want to be filled.

“We think we have a 10 for every cent scarcity in the (vehicle-elements) industry,” he said.

Last 7 days, Premier Doug Ford claimed the province was “working collaboratively” with the federal government to aid Ukrainian refugees as soon as they escape the war zone.

“If we can get the folks in this article, we’ll get treatment of them — and we have to have plenty of persons, for the reason that the economy is seriously going forward,” Ford informed reporters on Feb. 28.

The premier claimed Ontario could quickly settle for 50,000 to 100,000 or “whatever sum you can get above listed here.”

“You have a dwelling here and we’re heading to consider care of you below. There is work below, so I just have to get these men and women to Ontario as promptly as possible.”

Volpe emphasised the car-parts suppliers “are hunting for competent and unskilled workers” and can coach refugees for their new work opportunities.

In December, the APMA gained an award from the Michigan-based Middle for Automotive Range, Inclusion and Development, which allows racialized men and women in the auto industry.

Very last calendar year, Canadian car-parts companies partnered with governments and community teams on a $7 million equity, diversity and inclusion fund to “remove obstacles that equity-in search of teams deal with in attaining employment.”

With the backing of provincial Labour Minister Monte McNaughton, that initiative helped some 800 people from diverse background into well-shelling out automobile-sector positions.

The software is made for below-represented teams in the automotive market this kind of as gals, Black and Indigenous individuals, other people today of colour and the disabled.

Robert Benzie is the Star’s Queen’s Park bureau chief and a reporter masking Ontario politics. Abide by him on Twitter: @robertbenzie

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