A new report on Canada’s immigration system is warning that the current categories all combine, often overlapping in the process, to address short-term labour needs while long-term employment needs are not reflected.
The report was conducted by TD Economics and released just days before the latest census figures showed that Canada’s labour market will soon face major stress as the nation’s baby-boomer generation retires in the next decade or so.
A major concern for the writers of the report was the “doctors driving cabs” effect, which results from the Federal Skilled Worker program focusing solely on short-term needs. Between 2000 and 2005 the FSW program targeted computer professionals, just as the dot-com bubble burst, stalling growth.
By the time a targeted worker’s application is accepted, the labour market has usually shifted away from that profession. Furthermore, Provincial Nominee Programs often target the same group of workers as those applying through the FSW stream.
The report recommends that the government allow the PNPs, along with Temporary Worker Programs, to function as solutions to short-term employment concerns, and allow the Federal Skilled Worker program to look at long-term needs, being more open and flexible with its targets.
There was some good news, however, which indicated that Canada is attracting high-quality immigrants and retaining them. So much so, in fact, that Canada has become a model for other developed nations like Sweden and Germany.
The new report comes just in time for Immigration Minister Jason Kenney’s expected changes to regulations sometime this year. Authors of the report hope that their findings will be helpful to Canada as it searches for a way through the looming labour shortages.
Source: Globe and Mail