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A study released a few weeks ago by Seneca College in Ontario found that skilled immigrants will be desperately needed sooner rather than later due to the impending retirement of baby boomers and a general skills shortage in the province that is leaving many Ontarians without the skills to find adequate jobs. The focus of the study was primarily the situation in the province of Ontario, but other studies have found the same problems across the country.
The Canadian Government has a Priority Occupation List, and if a skilled immigrant’s occupation is included they can be fast-tracked into the country for work without some of the requirements for other workers, such as a standing job offer from a Canadian employer. Some of the jobs considered in demand by the Canadian Government that are on the Priority Occupation List include financial managers, mining engineers, accountants, geophysicists, petroleum engineers, family physicians, chefs, registered nurses, college instructors, crane operators and food service managers.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada even more recently announced that they are planning on creating a system to fast-track the recognition of foreign credentials to increase the number of skilled immigrants entering the country who have been educated outside of Canada. Some of the occupations included in this program currently are pharmacists, occupational therapists, medical laboratory technicians and accountants, who are expected to be granted access to the system by the end of 2010. The end of 2012 may see a total of 15 occupations added possibly including doctors, teachers, nurses and engineers.
In a statement in early February, Canadian Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Jason Kenney said, “The reality is that immigration could account for virtually all labour force growth in Canada within the next decade.”
A report like this and rational policy responses from the Canadian government are what is needed to meet the needs of our changing labor force. As immigration lawyers we try to do our part in bringing skilled workers to Ontario and other provinces in Canada.
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