Recently, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) outlined a strategic immigration plan aligning with crucial skills to tackle labor shortages and advance Canada’s economic, social, and cultural goals.
Priority for International Students
As part of this strategy, IRCC emphasizes prioritizing international students applying for Canadian Permanent Residence (PR) based on the alignment of their skills with labor market demands. The approach aims to enhance connections between students, educational institutions, and employers to integrate students with sought-after skills into the workforce and help them attain PR status.
To achieve these goals, IRCC is exploring measures such as integrating work-integrated learning in the International Student Program and updating the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) to support critical sectors. The department also plans to promote high-demand skills and sectors to prospective international students, impacting their transition from students to workers and eventual PR status.
High-Demand Skills Unveiled
While specific skills targeted for future economic immigration are not definitively outlined, recent changes in Canada’s Express Entry system offer insights. The system introduced category-based selections, inviting candidates with professional skills and language proficiency. Categories include Healthcare, STEM, Trades, Transport, and Agriculture.
Proficiency in French
This category-based approach aligns with IRCC’s goal to match immigrant skills with labor market needs. These in-demand professions are crucial to Canada’s Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs), set to be a primary pathway for economic immigrants.
Beyond Students: In-Demand Skills for All
In-demand skills are not limited to international students; Express Entry will continue to target workers in critical sectors like healthcare and housing facing sustained job vacancies. The government plans to raise awareness of support for newcomers in credential recognition to utilize their skills effectively.
Chief International Talent Officer (CITO)
Reflecting the importance of in-demand skills, Canada is hiring a Chief International Talent Officer (CITO) to oversee immigration alignment with labor market needs and sectoral strategies. This role will influence skills and sectors targeted for future immigration.
As Canada evolves, individuals with sought-after skills, regardless of immigration status, play a pivotal role in contributing to the country’s growth and addressing challenges in key sectors.