Enhancing French-Speaking Skilled Workers

Northwest Territories Strategic Approach to Enhancing French-Speaking Skilled Workers

In a bid to fortify diversity and address labor shortages, the Northwest Territories (NWT) recently hosted a conference in Yellowknife, exploring innovative strategies to attract French-speaking workers and integrate them into the local workforce. This collaborative initiative, led by Conseil de développement économique des Territoires du Nord-Ouest (CDÉTNO) and La Communauté francophone accueillante (CFA), welcomed representatives from Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and Employment and Social Development Canada.

Focus on Francophone Immigration

The focal point of the conference was the Francophone work permit offered by Ottawa, designed to facilitate the employment of French-speaking workers in the region. Francois Afane, the executive director of CDETNO, hailed the initiative as a “win-win,” emphasizing its potential to fill crucial job vacancies and infuse diversity into the vibrant communities of Yellowknife and NWT.

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Yellowknife, facing challenges in attracting employees due to factors like weather, housing, and a scarcity of high-paying jobs, recognizes the significance of bringing in skilled individuals to support economic growth. In this context, immigration to NWT operates through three streams: the Employer-Driven Stream, the Business Stream, and the Francophone Stream.

The Employer-Driven Stream caters to businesses seeking to hire foreign workers when no Canadians are available, with sub-streams like Skilled workers, Entry Level/Semi-Skilled Occupations, and NWT Express Entry. The Business Stream targets foreigners aspiring to establish businesses in Canada.

The Francophone Stream, a vital component, allows bilingual foreigners with a job offer in NWT to apply to the Northwest Territories Nominee Program (NTNP). This stream strategically aims to enhance the labor pool for bilingual workers across various National Occupational Classification skill levels.

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Administered through collaboration between the Government of the Northwest Territories and IRCC, NTNP is divided between the Department of Industry, Tourism, and Investment (handling the Business Stream) and the Department of Education, Culture, and Employment (overseeing the Employer-Driven Streams).

Employer-Driven Streams Addressing Labor Shortage

The Employer-Driven Streams play a pivotal role in helping employers secure highly skilled individuals, addressing labor shortages, and nominating eligible foreign nationals for Canadian permanent residency. This approach not only strengthens the local economy but also contributes to the broader goal of leveraging immigration for the territory’s economic benefit.

The conference’s focus on boosting French-speaking skilled workers aligns with NWT’s commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive community. As the region explores these strategic measures, it aims to position itself as an attractive destination for skilled workers, offering them a unique opportunity to contribute to and thrive in the vibrant Northwest Territories.

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