Exactly how has the pandemic impacted Canada’s job market? Well, retirements fell by 20 percent during the pandemic while resignations by workers unhappy with their jobs fell by 40 percent.
All this meant Canada’s job market was virtually put into suspended animation with both employers and employees preferring to play it safe. But that’s all in the past now. The pandemic may not be under total control but normalcy seems to be returning, at least to Canada’s job market.
June 2021 saw a 300 percent increase in worker resignations as compared to the previous year. There were 550,000 vacancies in the first quarter of 2021 while around 125,000 seniors will retire in the second half of the year.
Considering these trends, it’s not unrealistic to forecast that Canada will need around 750,000 skilled workers before the end of 2021. And how will Canadian employers find skilled workers to fill these positions?
EE, PNP, and TFWP—the Likely Solutions
Federal and provincial programs for permanent residence will help but employers’ first preference is obviously going to be the Temporary Foreign Worker program. This program requires mandatory LMIA applications and employers must also submit a transition plan for the position.
Despite this, the TFWP remains the fastest and simplest option for any Canadian employer seeking to hire a foreign skilled worker. This means you, as a skilled worker, need to focus on the TFWP even as you explore federal and provincial programs for permanent residence.
Here are three actionable steps that can improve your chances of quickly settling in Canada after you get a valid job offer from an employer who is eligible to hire a foreign worker.
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Identify Problem Areas and Avoid Delays
Are all your documents in order? Have you completed the language tests and scored more than the minimum score required by the program? And, more importantly, are your test results valid and will continue to be so when you apply?
From whether you have identified the right NOC code to the exact fee you need to pay along with your work permit application, it’s advisable to complete these preparatory steps in advance. Of course, the simplest and smartest option would be to work with an immigration attorney who can guide you through the entire process.
Shortlist Your Best Options and Prioritize
You don’t fulfill the minimum requirement of one year work experience and hence are not eligible for permanent residence? Then the smartest option until you gain this experience is to simply ignore PR options and focus on work permits only.
Qualifying for a LMIA-exempt work permit will significantly improve your chances of getting a job because this will be an additional positive reason for the employer to hire you. If that’s not possible, then make sure you are eligible for the TFWP work permit so that there are no delays or hassles once you have the job offer in hand.
Identify the Right Canadian Province for Your Skills
A tech worker is likely to find a job in Ontario’s tech hub as compared to other provinces. A fisheries’ related job position is unlikely to open up in the interiors of the county, right? You need not blindly ignore other provinces but it won’t hurt to identify provinces where your skills are in shortage and where you are likely to find a good job offer from a Canadian employer.
When assessing options in different provinces, make sure you give due weightage to pilot programs as well. Immigration pilots are setup to achieve specific goals like attracting immigrants working on specific occupations or to bring in skilled workers to a specific region.
Invariably, pilots have more relaxed eligibility requirements, which means you can still qualify for permanent residence even if you are not eligible under any federal program or one of the many provincial nomination programs and streams.
Finally, don’t keep in mind that the federal government or any of the provincial governments may announce temporary measures to boost immigration.
Recently, the federal government introduced six new streams for permanent residence for healthcare and non-healthcare skilled workers and international graduates as well. The best way to be prepared for such surprises is to work with an immigration professional and keep your filings and documents ready for submission at all times.