Policy experts have long been championing the idea of looking to Europe to ease Canada’s labour concerns in the coming years as the baby-boomer generation approaches retirement age while not enough Canadians are entering the workforce to replace them.
However, in light of the recent economic crises being felt globally, experts are increasingly calling on the Canadian government to focus its efforts to international recruitment – particularly in places such as Europe where the hard economic times are very much a tangible part of life.
The economic conditions in certain European countries are very bleak. In many nations, such as Spain and Greece the unemployment rate is more than double that in Canada. The rates are even worse when looking only at unemployed youth – those under the age of 25. Youth unemployment in Spain and Greece is at 49.6 and 45.6, respectively. Canada’s youth unemployment rate is 15 percent.
However, recent immigration figures show that Canada has been increasingly accepting applicants from Asia, the Middle East and Africa. In 2010 the government welcomed approximately 135,000 Asian newcomers compared to just 41,000 Europeans.
These figures illustrate the overall trend in Canadian immigration since the 1960s, when the government switched focus from European-centred policies to other sources of immigrants.
Now some experts are calling on the government to shift focus once again. Europe is rife with educated and skilled youth who are eager to build themselves a better quality of life – even if that life is abroad. At the same time, many Canadian employers are already feeling the labour crunch that is surely only to intensify in the coming years.
Source: Montreal Gazette