Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has announced reforms that will target younger and more language-proficient immigrants who should be better able to secure employment upon their arrival in Canada.
The coming changes will apply to immigrants applying through Canada’s Federal Skilled Worker Program. For months, speculation on the changes has been building in advance of the release of the budget at the end of March.
Changes will include pre-assessment of foreign credentials so that skilled new Canadians can begin working upon their arrival.
Other changes include reforms of the point system and more emphasis given to skilled trades workers. Additionally, language proficiency will be weighted differently depending on the profession – those who interact with the public (doctors, nurses, etc.) will be held to a higher standard.
“The number one factor for success in immigrants is language proficiency,” said Minister Kenney, highlighting his government’s immigration priorities. “No point in bringing folks here if they don’t have language proficiency.”
Additionally, the government aims to retain more international students by streamlining their immigration application process and reducing their wait time.
Despite labor shortages across the country, the immigrant unemployment rate still rests at 12 percent. The discrepancy has led to pressure from the provinces to allow them more jurisdiction over immigration. Kenney, however, maintains that his government will continue working to improve the situation and ensure that Canada’s employers will obtain the skilled labor they need to continue growing.
Source: National Post