Canada’s love affair with skilled immigration is unlikely to end in the near future. If you are a young professional exploring work opportunities abroad or a young student considering study options abroad, then Canada must be at the top of your list at least till the year 2040.
Why 2040—Workforce Retirements Less Additions
Well, it’s all about the numbers. By 2040, around 10 million baby boomers and an additional 3.5 million workers will exit Canada’s workforce. This means Canada will need around 13.5 million workers through 2040 to ensure its workforce of skilled workers does not shrink.
Till 2040, around 12 million students are expected to graduate and enter the Canadian labor pool. This leaves a shortfall of 1.5 million workers that Canada will have to fill.
This huge retirement number will obviously result in greater strain on public social services. Canada’s government will have to fund this, which means it will have to boost economic growth for higher tax revenues. This means now is the time to prepare for what is going to happen 20 years in the future.
Perhaps this explains Canada’s ambitious immigration targets and its aggressive pro-immigrant policies despite disruptions like the pandemic.
Of course, this basic arithmetic of retirements and additions presumes that Canada’s labor pool will remains stagnant through 2040. Obviously, that doesn’t make any sense.
Maintaining Economic Growth
To boost GDP growth and have a favorable public debt to GDP ratio, Canada will have to aggressively work towards boosting innovation and entrepreneurship and job growth through 2040.
While it may not be possible to predict just how many immigrants Canada needs, the retirements minus additions figure clearly establishes two points.
- Canada needs more and more skilled workers, and
- Immigration is the only sustainable way for Canada to achieve its goal.
Fair Distribution of Economic Growth
Further, there’s also the issue of inequal distribution of population and economic growth. Economic development in Canada is directly connected with population growth and three of the biggest provinces account for more than 80 percent of total immigrants entering the country.
In 2021, just one out of every ten immigrants choosing to settle outside Ontario, British Columbia, Quebec, and Alberta. Obviously, this imbalance means economic development too will be concentrated in these provinces.
Forcing people living in Ontario or Quebec to move to Nova Scotia or Prince Edward Island is not an option. This means the only way Canada can distribute population and economic growth is by creating immigration programs customized to the specific requirements of different provinces.
One example of such an immigration program that has worked very well is the Atlantic Immigration Program that started as a Pilot program and now is a permanent immigration program covering just the four Atlantic provinces of Canada.
The Future’s Always Unpredictable
Finally, all this presumes the future can be predicted based on the past, The pandemic has clearly shown how quickly life can get disrupted and how the world can change forever.
Self-driven cars and trucks may make drivers redundant. Restaurant owners may rely on technology to fill up vacant positions. Internet of Things may change manufacturing and processing sectors beyond recognition.
Climate change may force oil and gas sectors to innovate, and renewable energy sector may get a big boost. Since creating the future is the safest way to predict it, Canada is going to require a lot of skilled talent—for jobs as well as entrepreneurs—to maintain its status as a developed country.
Considering all these factors, it’s safe to conclude that Canada is not going to change its pro-immigration policies anytime soon. In fact, chances are that demand for skilled immigrants is likely to grow even faster, which means there is a wonderful opportunity for foreign skilled workers and foreign students for the taking.
Plan Your Strategy Today
Making your Canada immigration dream come true need not be very difficult, provided you plan your strategy properly. Federal or Provincial? Which province? The Atlantic Immigration program? Or should you focus on the TFWP or the IMP work permits?
If you are a student, then you need to consider both academic and immigration factors when choosing your province of study. And you need to start working towards your job early, so that the study-PGWP-PR route can be used without any hassles.
The smartest step would be work with an immigration attorney who can guide you through all the options and help you choose the best strategy that fits your career preferences.