In February, a Vancouver-area immigration lawyer used Canada’s Freedom of Information Act to obtain documents that showed Citizenship and Immigration Canada was planning on reducing the number of Federal Skilled Workers by 20% – from 70,000 to 55,900 in 2011.
The president of the Canadian Construction Association told the Daily Commercial News this week that, “The reduction in the number of people coming into Canada under this program initially sounds terrible. It doesn’t make sense to be reducing the number of people coming in, but these numbers don’t matter if the system is not working for the construction industry – rather than worrying about the numbers, the system needs to be fixed,” he said.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada also recently announced that they were overhauling the Skilled Worker Points Program because it wasn’t fair to tradespeople. A skilled worker needs a certain amount of points to get into Canada, awarded based on thinks like education, language ability and experience.
For example, a PhD or Master’s degree will award 25 points, while a trade certificate only awards 12, putting trades people at a disadvantage even though they are more than qualified for the job – and heavily in demand.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada is currently under consultation for changes to the program, and is currently deciding whether to increase the points for speaking an official language from 16 to 20, adding minimum language requirements based on the occupation in question and a reduction in the number of years of education needed.
Just at a time when our demographics are aging; when our economy is in desperate need of skilled labor, CIC may be making is even more difficult to qualify. Let’s hope that any changes to the selection criteria are in fact less restrictive to reflect the real economic and demographic reality of the Canadian economy.
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