Canada intends to solve its problems with the help of immigrants
Highly qualified specialists are no longer the top priority.
Canada is going to change its immigration system next year to address a persistent labour shortage. Instead of inviting highly skilled people regardless of their occupation, the country will give preference to those who are more in demand in the labour market.
We already know that from 2023 Canada will hold targeted Express Entry draws. Priority will be given to health and construction workers, as well as candidates whose occupations are in demand in a particular province. According to Canadian Minister of Immigration Sean Fraser, such a system would regulate the influx of immigrants and fill needed jobs.
"This is a completely different approach than what has been the case historically, which simply did a draw for the highest scoring people in the system regardless of which sector they were going to work in or which region they are destined to," states Sean Fraser.
In addition to highly qualified candidates, there is now a trend in Canada to invite specialists in IT and programming, while other sectors are neglected.
As an example, Fraser said the Ministry of Immigration will now be able to select applications so that it can invite French teachers to New Brunswick who are in short supply there, address the shortage of nurses in Nova Scotia or issue more invitations to carpenters who are going to settle in Ontario. Ontario also needs construction workers. It is estimated that the province will need 100,000 more professionals in the field in the near future to meet its goal of building 1.5 million homes by 2031. And that also can be met with a new approach to invitations.
A separate problem is immigrant doctors. They are in great demand in Canada, but they cannot immediately work in their field — they need to retrain and go through a complicated licensing process. The Minister of Immigration promised to solve this problem as well, but he did not say what to do about it.
"he idea that we have neuro and dental surgeons who are working as taxi drivers is unacceptable," Fraser comments. — It’s really frustrating for me when I meet talented people who have arrived in Canada but are not able to contribute at their full potential."
Business representatives are positive about the changes to the immigration system. Bank of Canada governor Tiff Macklem thinks he would not have had to raise interest rates so much this year if there were more workers in the country.
Canadians, by contrast, are starting to worry that admitting more immigrants will strain health care, social services, and housing. Fraser agrees that attention needs to be paid to these sectors, but also says that a shortage of people will create many more problems. Moreover, the Minister believes that Canada must continue to increase its immigration targets in order to grow its economy and improve its demographics.