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In order to compete for the finest talent around the world, Canada is attempting to change the way that they allow key industries to hire highly skilled foreign workers. Instead of wading through red tape, companies want to speed up the process, especially regarding positions that are key to the growth of their business.
During a press conference, the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Navdeep Bains, stated that “we want to make innovation a national priority,” addressing the desire to hasten the pace of talent pool development for high-tech industries.
Currently, the wait time that companies face when attempting to hire skilled workers tends to last a minimum of six months. Immigration Minister John McCallum confirmed that tech firms in Canada want a process that “is more like six days rather than six months.” Numbers released by the government state that eighty percent of all foreign hiring processes were completed within half a year.
Considering the rapid pace of innovation within the tech industry, waiting six months to hire a key worker creates an obstacle that companies in other countries hurdle in less time. This allows foreign competition to operate with better agility in terms of human resources, luring top talent with greater ease.
As such, tech firms in Canada would benefit from a streamlined hiring process that reduces the amount of time spent waiting for talent to arrive. Some companies have skipped the process entirely, outsourcing work to foreign countries instead of dealing with requirements such as the Labour Market Impact Assessment.
While many foreign worker programs exist at the federal and provincial level, policymakers appear interested in listening to the recommendations of tech thought leaders and industry innovators. Clearly, a six-day program for skilled foreign workers will remain unlikely in the near future. Nonetheless, tech companies and skilled workers around the world should keep an eye out for expected changes to the Canadian immigration system within 2016.
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