Aug 13, 2019 – Canada’s highly-successful economic immigration system makes it a role model for other countries around the world, a new OECD report says.
The report, entitled ‘Recruiting Immigrant Workers: Canada 2019’ highlights how Canada boasts the highest proportion of highly educated foreign-born people among the entire OECD, at 60 per cent.
“Canada has not only the largest in terms of numbers, but also the most elaborate and longest-standing skilled labour migration system in the OECD,” the report says.
The report adds: “Against this backdrop, Canada is widely seen as a role model for successful migration management.”
Canada’s Economic Immigration System
- 80% of Canada population growth comes through immigration
- Canada is the best in the world at attracting high-educated people and entrepreneurs
- Canada’s Global Skills Strategy has fill 24,000 vacancies, created 60,000 jobs for Canadians and helped grow 1,100 companies.
On Express Entry, Canada’s system for selecting federal economic immigrants, the OECD report highlights the refined nature of the ranking system compared to similar systems in Australia and New Zealand.
“This allows consideration of positive interactions of skills, such as that between language proficiency and the ability to transfer foreign qualifications to the Canadian context,” the report says. “The system is built on an in-depth assessment of the drivers of outcomes of previous migrants.”
The author, OECD migration specialist Thomas Liebig, was on hand to officially release the report with Canada Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen in Toronto on Tuesday.
Liebig noted how Canada’s economic immigration system is the largest and most comprehensive in the OECD. He also highlighted the openness of Canadians towards immigration.
“Canada is highly reactive to new developments, and changes in policy governing migration are not only rather frequent but also more strongly evidence-based than elsewhere,” the report says.
Responding to the report, Hussen said: “We know that immigration spurs economic growth, helps address the challenges, in particular labour shortages, our country faces with an ageing population, and plays a crucial role in attracting highly-skilled talent to keep our country at the forefront of the global economy.
“I am honoured that the OECD identifies Canada as a role model for successful migration management and as a benchmark for other countries.
“The report also highlights some of the keys to our success, most notably our holistic approach to attraction, selection, retention, and settlement and integration, as well as our commitment to continual testing and monitoring.”
Hussen went on to highlight changes made over the last four years that have contributed to developing the immigration system.
These have included two rounds of changes to the Express Entry points system, plus the launch of several new initiatives.
Immigration Initiatives Launched Under Liberal Government
- Global Talent Stream
- Atlantic Immigration Pilot
- Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot
- Agri-food Immigration Pilot
The OECD report was not entirely positive towards Canada.
It also made a number of policy recommendations to be considered going forwards.
Important Recommendations Made In OECD Report
- Merge the Federal Skilled Worker Program with the Canadian Experience Class and abolish the Federal Skilled Trades Program, to form a single program system for federal economic immigrants.
- Align Express Entry pool requirements with the new single program and introduce a minimum qualification requirement for entry into the Express Entry pool.
- Award points for Canadian work experience based on wage of last Canadian job instead of duration and NOC code.
- Avoid frequent changes in the allocation of bonus points.
- Continue to promote standardisation and harmonisation of foreign credential recognition.
- Award full skills transferability points to any candidate having a licence in a regulated profession in their intended province of landing.
- Monitor the occupations immigrants actually take up in addition to the occupation they intend to work in.
- Abolishing the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) for permanent migration and replace it with integrity checks.
- Introduce a specific trusted employer scheme for those companies making heavy use of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, building on the experiences of the Global Skills Strategy.
- Link temporary work visas with specific occupations and provinces rather than employers.
- Base future Provincial Nominee Program primarily on Express Entry, ensuring standard processing times and common educational and language minimum standards.
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