Will Canada’s new immigrant selection approach fix labor markets or create more gaps?
The Canadian Federal Government has recently shifted its immigration policy to recruit thousands of foreign nationals for permanent residency in Canada to fill specific high-demand jobs, primarily in healthcare, skilled trades, agriculture, transportation, and STEM fields.
The government has invited almost 9,000 people to apply for permanent residency since late June, using the Express Entry system for economic immigration. The government, for instance, is looking for immigrants with experience in 35 occupations within the healthcare sector, including dentists, massage therapists, and registered nurses.
While this approach is meant to ease the hiring challenges of the country, it has raised concerns among economists and policy experts who warn that today’s labor needs can change quickly, leaving the country with a surplus of workers in some fields. According to the government, the change to category-based immigrant selection, which took effect on June 28, aims to relieve the hiring challenges that have plagued many sectors over the past few years. Continue reading about category-based immigration selections.
Despite this, the government continues prioritizing certain groups and has invited 8,600 people to apply for permanent residency over five rounds.
There seems to be a continually significant demand for labor in some sectors. More than 150,000 vacant positions in the health care and social assistance sectors existed as of April, a record number and about one-fifth of all open positions in Canada.
These labor gaps “are just going to get worse as the population ages,” predicted Rupa Banerjee, a Canada Research Chair in immigration and economics at Toronto Metropolitan University. “Targeting those kinds of occupations has the potential to improve this mismatch” between the supply and demand of workers.
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