Saskatchewan is streamlining rules for entrepreneurs who want to immigrate to the province.
According to Jeremy Harrison, the minister for immigration, jobs, skills and training, changes to the entrepreneur and farm category under the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program will speed up applications.
The five streams included in the category are to be collapsed into two, which will have new eligibility requirements. Applications will be made online and the point system will give more weight to certain qualities, including proven entrepreneurial experience and net worth.
The government is also removing the need for a $75,000 good-faith deposit, allowing funds to go towards settlement and startup costs instead.
The proportion of new Canadians calling Saskatchewan home has more than tripled over the past decade.
According to a new Statistics Canada study, 2.7 per cent of the country’s 280,682 immigrants planned to settle in Saskatchewan in 2010, a rise of 0.8 per cent of 227,429 immigrants in 2000.
While Saskatchewan welcomed 7,615 immigrants in 2010, compared to 1,891 in 2000, the proportion of immigrants settling in Toronto — which once attracted almost half of newcomers — declined. The proportion of immigrants settling in Toronto dropped to 33 per cent in 2010 from 48 per cent in 2000.
The increasing numbers of immigrants going to Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba is attributed to the growth of provincial immigrant nominee programs in the west during this time.
The Saskatchewan Immigrant Nomination Program, which was expanded throughout the 2000s, was a significant driver for immigration, said David McGrane, a political studies professor at the University of Saskatchewan and board member for the Saskatoon Open Door Society, which assists immigrants and refugees in the city.
Naveed Anway, who immigrated to Canada from Pakistan in 1992 and also serves on the Saskatoon Open Door Society board, said he doesn’t expect the upward trend of immigrants to continue. He said recent changes to the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program that make it harder for workers to bring family members to the province make Saskatchewan a less attractive place to come to now than it was 10 years ago.
Rising numbers of immigrants have contributed to Saskatchewan reaching an all-time population high of 1,132,640 on January 1. Premier Brad Wall said that the growing population reflects the strength of the province and its economy.
(Employers and Provinces Assume Greater Role)
The Government of Canada will increase immigration levels significantly in 2015. Citizenship and Immigration Canada aims to welcome as many as 285,000 new permanent residents this year. This represents a significant increase in levels from previous years.
Canada’s increased immigration levels, coincides with the implementation of Express Entry a new immigration system which processes immigrants to Canada under Economic Class programs. Applicants seeking permanent residence, who meet minimum criteria, submit an online expression of interest profile to the Express Entry Pool. Candidates without an approved job offer or provincial nomination must also submit an employment profile to the Canada Job Bank. Candidates in the pool will be available for consideration by employers who cannot access Canadians and to provincial governments for nomination under Provincial Nominee Programs PNP’s. The profiles of candidates in the pool are ranked under a Comprehensive Ranking System according to their age, education, language, experience and other factors. The maximum score is 1200. Applicants with an approved job offer from a Canadian employer (positive Labour Market Impact Assessment) or candidates nominated by a province receive an additional 600 points. The highest ranked candidates will be considered by the Federal government for an invitation to apply (ITA) for permanent residence. The government aims to process applications in 6-months.
The government plans to conduct periodic draws throughout the year. An applicant can remain in the pool for up to one year. An applicant who does not receive an ITA during this period will be removed from the pool and will need to re-submit a new profile. Thus an applicant’s ranking in the pool will vary for each draw as new profiles enter and others are removed.
Immigration falls under a shared jurisdiction between the federal, provincial and territorial governments. Provincial Nomination Programs are widely viewed as an alternative option for many foreign nationals to gain Canadian permanent residency. Every province has implemented its own provincial nomination program, each with its own criteria, in order to promote immigration policies best suited to a province’s particular needs. The Province of Quebec promotes its own immigration programs under special status.
Under Express Entry the role of the provinces will become significant. In addition to the existing Provincial Nomination Programs available through Canadian provinces and territories, currently Nova Scotia, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and British Columbia have launched express entry immigration programs that complement the Canada Express Entry Immigration system. A sponsor employer is often not required.
To be selected under a provincial express entry immigration program, prospective applicants must meet the minimum criteria for one of the three federal programs available under the express entry system (the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trade Program and the Canadian Experience Class). They must also complete a federal express entry assessment profile.
From the federal express entry pool a participating province can select between 350 to 1,000 applicants for nomination to their province each year depending on agreements with the federal government. Other provinces are expected to launch express entry programs in 2015.
Saskatchewan Immigration Program Allows Applications Without Sponsoring Employer
The Saskatchewan Office of Immigration promotes its own Express Entry stream. It enables the province to nominate qualified candidates for admission to Canada under the federal Express Entry immigration system, without a sponsoring employer. The province nominates qualified applicants from the federal Express Entry pool.
The International Skilled Worker- Express Entry Category is aimed at selecting applicants who have the education, experience, language proficiency and adaptability to successfully establish in Saskatchewan and contribute to the province’s prosperity. Nomination is based on a points system, where applicants receive consideration under the following factors:
- Education and Training;
- Work Experience;
- Language Ability;
- Connections to Saskatchewan, including family, job offer, work or study experience in the province.
Applicants must score a minimum of 60 out of a possible 100 points under the above mentioned selection factors to be considered for nomination. Applicants must also meet the following mandatory criteria:
- Have been accepted into CIC’s Express Entry pool and have an Express Entry Profile Number and Job Seeker Validation Code;
- Have completed a minimum of one year of post – secondary education or training which is comparable to the Canadian education system and has resulted in a degree, diploma, certificate, or a certificate equivalent to a trade certificate (that is verifiable);
- Have a minimum level of work experience related to your field of education or training:
- At least one year of work experience in the past 10 years in a skilled profession (non-trades); OR
- At least two years of work experience in a skilled trade within the past five years; OR
- At least 12 months of skilled work experience in Canada in the past three years (trades and non- trades).
- Have work experience in a high skilled occupation (NOC “0”, “A” or “B”) that is considered to be Occupations In – Demand in Saskatchewan;
- Demonstrate sufficient settlement funds if applying without an approved job offer.
- Demonstrate a minimum language proficiency of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7, or higher if required by employers or regulatory bodies;
A maximum of 1000 applications will be accepted in 2015 from candidates without employer sponsorship.
Individuals with formal post-secondary education or training and a minimum of one year of work experience in the past ten years related to one of the below Occupations In- Demand may qualify to apply under the SINP International Skilled Worker Express Entry Category without a sponsoring employer:
- 0711 Construction managers
- 1111 Financial auditors and accountants
- 1232 Loan officers
- 1241 Secretaries (except legal and medical)
- 2131 Civil engineers
- 2132 Mechanical engineers
- 2133 Electrical and electronics engineers
- 2161 Mathematicians, statisticians and actuaries
- 2171 Information systems analysts and consultants
- 2173 Software Engineers and Designers
- 2174 Computer programmers and interactive media developers
- 2211 Chemical technologists and technicians
- 2212 Geological and mineral technologists and technicians
- 2221 Biological technologists and technicians
- 2222 Agricultural and fish products inspectors
- 2232 Mechanical engineering technologists and technicians
- 2234 Construction estimators
- 2241 Electrical and electronics engineering technologists and technicians
- 2243 Industrial instrument technicians and mechanics
- 2281 Computer Network Technicians
- 2282 User support technicians
- 2283 Systems testing technicians
- 4121 University Professors
- 4163 Business Development Officers and Marketing Researchers and Consultants
- 6221 Technical sales specialists, wholesale trade
- 7215 Contractors and supervisors, carpentry trades
- 7217 Contractors and supervisors, heavy construction equipment crews
- 7219 Contractors and supervisors, other construction trades, installers, repairers and servicers
- 7222 Supervisors, motor transport and other ground transit operators
- 7231 Machinists and machining and tooling inspectors
- 7232 Tie and Die Makers
- 7241 Electricians (except industrial and power system)
- 7242 Industrial electricians
- 7246 Telecommunications installation and repair workers
- 7251 Plumbers
- 7252 Steamfitters, pipefitters and sprinkler system installers
- 7261 Sheet metal workers
- 7263 Structural metal and platework fabricators and fitters
- 7265 Welders and related machine operators
- 7271 Carpenters
- 7281 Bricklayers
- 7282 Concrete finishers
- 7283 Tilesetters
- 7284 Plasterers, drywall installers, finishers and lathers
- 7291 Roofers and shinglers
- 7292 Glaziers
- 7293 Insulators
- 7294 Painters and decorators
- 7295 Floor covering installers
- 7311 Construction millwrights and industrial mechanics (except textile)
- 7312 Heavy-duty equipment mechanics
- 7313 Refrigeration and air conditioning mechanics
- 7316 Machine fitters
- 7321 Automotive Service Technicians, Truck and Bus Mechanics and Mechanical Repairers
- 7322 Motor vehicle body repairers
- 8232 Oil and gas well drillers, servicers, testers and related workers
- 8253 Farm supervisors and specialized livestock workers
- 9212 Supervisors, petroleum, gas and chemical processing and utilities
- 9213 Supervisors, food, beverage and tobacco processing
Thinking of living or working in Canada under a Canada work permit or securing Canadian permanent residence? The timing could not be more opportune.
Unemployment rate in the Saskatchewan province of Canada reached a historic low of 3.3% (seasonally adjusted) in July. The provincial government says this is the lowest unemployment rate on record for Saskatchewan since 1976 when Statistics Canada started recording employment data.
The previous all-time low figure for Saskatchewan’s unemployment was 3.4% in April 2014.
“Saskatchewan’s rate of unemployment is now lower than every other province in the nation, and 49 of 50 American states. Only North Dakota has a lower unemployment rate at 2.7%,” said Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart on behalf of Associate Minister of the Economy Jeremy Harrison.
The province also recorded other all-time high figures for full-time employment (488,100), male employment (315,100) and overall population (843,600). As per monthly records, employment stood at 570,200, with labour force totalling 591,600. Female employment was recorded at 255,100.
There was an increase of 6,100 people working in the province compared to last year. The employment growth rate of 1.1% in Saskatchewan was the second highest among provinces and above the national average of 0.6%.
“What these job numbers say to me is that our economy is on track. People who can work are finding skilled, good-paying, meaningful employment in communities across our province and that is great news,” said Stewart.
- Full-time employment increased by 9,900.
- Saskatchewan’s employment increased by 500 from last month. Growth rate was at 0.1%, ranking it at number four among provinces.
- Youth unemployment rate (seasonally adjusted) was 6.6%, lowest among the provinces, and below the national rate of 13.2%.
- After seasonal adjustments, Regina’s unemployment rate was recorded at 3.4%, down from 3.6% last month and from 3.6% a year ago. Saskatoon’s unemployment rate was at 3.6%, down from 3.8% in June this year and from 4% a year back. Among all Census Metropolitan Areas, Regina had the lowest unemployment rate, and Saskatoon the second lowest.
- On a year-over-year basis, construction had the largest number of job gains (6,000) among 16 major industries and showed a 12% increase from a year ago. This is six consecutive months of year-over-year gains. Educational services (3,200) and agriculture (3,100) ranked second and third for the largest employment gains.
The province of Saskatchewan has announced reforms to its Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP) that will focus on attracting and retaining the skilled workers that the province so desperately needs right now.
“When we went and did consultations last year on how to make the program and process more efficient, we heard loud and clear that the number one focus should be skilled workers,” says the province’s Immigration Services executive director Kirk Westgard. “We are trying to ensure that companies in the labour market get what they need in order to continue to grow.”
There will now be three separate categories for the SINP, each with tighter eligibility requirements in place – the Saskatchewan Experience Category, the International Skilled Worker Category, and the Entrepreneur and Farm Category.
The new International Skilled Worker Category, for instance, encompasses two previous streams – Skilled Workers and Family Referrals. Those who have employment offers and pre-employment ties, as well as those with relatives in the province, will be most likely to qualify through this category.
Many employers throughout the province have relied on the SINP in recent years as the economy booms, including Westcan Bulk Transport, one of the largest goods transporting companies in Western Canada. Westcan recruitment manager Chelsea Jukes says that the program allows them to hire the long-haul drivers they need in order to meet demand.
“The professional truck driver shortage is severe and very real, and this program ensures we can broaden our recruitment and hiring initiatives beyond borders and go after the quality that exists around the world,” says Juke, noting that the company requires foreign drivers to have at least three years of experience when hired.
Officials are also hoping to streamline the process by going electronic. Mailed applications for the SINP will no longer be accepted, and people will be able to check the status of their application online.
Source: Saskatoon Star-Pheonix
Language programs across Saskatchewan are expanding to meet increased demand after recent influxes of immigrants to the region.
Programs such as the language centre at the Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology (SIAST) are expanding their services to accommodate high numbers of newcomers to the quickly growing region. This particular centre will serve not only to aid newcomers in language learning, but also as a testing centre, as English proficiency exams grow increasingly important in the immigration process.
Over the past several years, the Saskatchewan economy has been propelling growth in the region, attracting record numbers of newcomers. Since 2007, the Western prairie province has welcomed nearly 50,000 newcomers. Experts predict continued growth in the coming years, with a projected 60,000 increase in the workforce by 2020.
“In order to achieve these goals it’s going to mean attracting and retaining new immigrants to Saskatchewan, and that means as a province we need to help and provide opportunities to everyone that’s coming here,” said Advanced Education deputy minister Louise Greenberg. “We’ve endeavoured to create programming that helps the newcomers socially and economically integrate into our fabric of Saskatchewan.”
In order to help with this integration process, the language centre at SIAST will undergo $100,000 in renovations. The new services are aimed at keeping newcomers in the province, so that they do not need to travel or relocate to find the help they need.
Source: Regina Leader-Post
Average Weekly Earnings of Non-farm Employees in Saskatchewan Rises to $966 in December 2013 – Statistics Canada
The average weekly earnings of non-farm employees in Saskatchewan rose by 3.6 percent in December 2013, according to data released by Statistics Canada. This increase meant that average weekly earnings for non-farm employees currently stood at $966, compared to December 2012.
According to Statistics Canada, the increases covered the largest sectors in the country, including construction, manufacturing, retail and wholesale trade.
The report placed Saskatchewan’s average weekly wage of $966 as the third highest in the country, behind Alberta at $1,146 and Newfoundland and Labrador – both jointly at $969.
United Steelworkers economist Erin Weir had mentioned earlier that between November and December 2013, average weekly earnings increased by $9 (or 0.9 percent), which was exactly in line with the national average.
However, according to the report, the year-over-year national average increased by $26 per week, in comparison to the year-over-year increase of $34 per week in Saskatchewan.
At a nationwide level, the average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees stood at $933 in December 2013 – an increase of 0.9 percent from November 2013. According to Statistics Canada, weekly earnings rose by 2.9 percent on a year-over-year basis.
The increase in the average weekly earnings on an annual basis surpassed the national average in four of the 10 largest industrial sectors, led by wholesale trade and construction.
Therefore, average weekly earnings in wholesale trade increased by 7.4 percent to $1,139, while average weekly earnings in construction rose by 6.3 percent to $1,239. At the same time however, earnings in educational services dropped by 3.8 percent to $951.
The report also mentioned that the year-over-year earnings of non-farm payroll employees increased in all provinces. Thus, provinces like Alberta, Newfoundland and Labrador, Saskatchewan and Prince Edward Island all registered an increase in year-over-year earnings of non-farm payroll employees.
Source: The Regina Leader-Post
Employers in Saskatchewan are commending their government’s latest strategies to ease the pressure caused by high worker shortages.
This month the government of Saskatchewan announced that it would raise the number of training and apprenticeship positions in the province, as well as having successfully negotiated a rise in their provincial nominee program quota, up to 4,450.
The provincial nominee program allows provincial governments to fast-track immigration applications for workers whose skills are most needed. Businesses across the country have long been praising the program, particularly those who have been facing labour shortages in provinces like Saskatchewan.
“The number one issue facing every business owner in this province is the skills shortage,” said the Canadian Federation of Independent Business representative Marilyn Braun-Pollon. “Half of our members are turning away business because they can’t find labour. This is a critical issue for small business owners.”
However, Braun-Pollon cautions that these measures may not be enough and hopes the government will eventually be able to negotiate 6,000 provincial nominee applications each year.
Other local stakeholders noted that more should to be done to attract workers to Saskatchewan over other provinces like Alberta, which has a lower tax rate. Lower taxes mean more affordable living, which is a concern to anyone who is looking to migrate for work.
Still, however, Saskatchewan is one of the fastest growing provinces in Canada, recently reporting record population growths. The new initiatives should help ease some of the pressures being faced by employers who are trying to keep up with demand.
Source: Regina Leader-Post
New statistics shows that Saskatchewan has set a new population record, thanks to a rise in immigration over the past two and a half years.
The data from Statistics Canada show that 24,922 immigrants arrived in the province over the past two and a half years, representing the largest period of growth in Saskatchewan’s history, according to Premier Brad Wall.
Wall pointed to recent efforts of his government to recruit and retain newcomers to the province, but credits the recent strength of the economy for providing long-term opportunities.
“[A]t the end of the day, you need an economy – these folks need to have a job to come to, graduates need to have a job to stay for, and government can’t take the credit for that,” said Wall. “Hopefully you stay out of the way of the growth, maybe you help set the right environment, but it’s really a credit to the fact that the world wants what we have right now; there’s some good fortune in that.”
A large amount of newcomers are coming to the province from The Philippines, which has spurred the government and resettlement agencies to cater services to their needs. For instance, Wall points to recent efforts by his government to streamline the immigration process specifically for applicants from that country.
Additionally, immigrant advocates in the largest cities, including Saskatoon, are working to ease the resettlement process for newcomers and help the community deal with its transition from a smaller sized city to a larger, multi-cultural metropolis.
A new report, commissioned by the City of Saskatoon and compiled by political science professor Joe Garcea, examines these issues and concludes that various stakeholders, including government, advocates and the public need to increase cooperative approaches. Garcea also stresses the need to involve other minority groups, including aboriginal governments.
Source: Saskatoon Star-Pheonix