Many Filipinos choose to work in other countries like Hong Kong and Malaysia due to higher currencies and better work opportunities, including Suzette Alcaro who used to work as a domestic helper in Hong Kong. However, she later chose to trade her broom for mushrooms and migrated to Canada.
Apparently, Alcaro is not the only Filipino who is working as a mushroom picker in Canada. Many Filipinos are migrating to Canada for a better-paying job.
Currently, Canada is in great need of agricultural workers, particularly mushroom pickers, oyster harvester, and butchers. Canada’s mushroom industry is to be worth $900 million and it is expected to keep growing in the coming years.
Alcaro who is now working as a mushroom picker said that she earns around US$2,882 monthly
Furthermore, her company also provides a monthly allowance, health insurance, accommodation and free shuttle service from the accommodation to her workplace
Another Filipino, Teddy Legaspi, is also working as a mushroom picker after he left his previous job as a high school teacher.
“That (work) is good, the housing, very good,” Legaspi said. The only problem he has so far is adapting to the cold weather.
According to the president of A & L Hammers Workforce Lily Miranda Hammer, Filipino applicants are preferred in Canada compared to other nationalities as most of them could speak English
“Filipinos are good in English that’s why they are easily employable. To be honest, they don’t have to become highly-educated or college graduates to get hired. They just have to be hardworking,” she said.
In order to secure a job as a mushroom picker, applicants should undergo a 3-month training and seminar organised by the Canadian government. Upon passing the training and background checks, successful applicants will be flown to Canada to work as mushroom pickers for two years.
This year, Hammer targets to raise the hiring of mushroom pickers from the Philippines to 300. Openings are also available for oyster harvesters and butchers.
Filipinos who wish to work abroad should inquire from The Philippines Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) of The Philippine Oversee Labour Office (POLO) in their respective area to verify legitimate job opportunities available for Filipino abroad as well as to ensure their rights and welfare are protected