New Canadian Work Permit Policy Looks to Curb Skills Shortages

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at
Thu May 22 15:37:41 UTC 2008

-- New Canadian Work Permit Policy Looks to Curb Skills Shortages

20/05/2008 by Tamar Blieden

Canada is constantly calling for more skilled workers to fill labour
shortages. They have now turned to international students to do this. This
comes as the Canadian government <> introduces
changes to its work permit policy.

Canada has long been a popular destination for immigrants; however its
legislature was often seen as more restrictive than other commonly chosen
immigration places such as Australia or the United Kingdom. These new laws
should make Canadian immigration an even more attractive option.

As of late international students could only apply for work
their studies provided they had a job offer. This will now change
as Immigration Minister Diane Finley announces the new rules around the
'Post Graduate Work Permit Programme'.

This programme will now allow students to obtain a three year work permit
before they have any prospective job offers. This new law will also allow
students to work up to 20 hours a week, therefore enabling them to apply for
permanent residence after their studies. Previously this could not be done
due to lack of experience that is an essential constraint for residency

"Yes, this initiative is very useful for international students and their
future in Canada, but ultimately it is Canada itself that will benefit the
most," says Nora Ali of "Not only will Canadia
immigration become easier but the massive backlog that was a turn off for
many skilled professionals looking to migrate should be diminished," she
adds. Currently the wait before an immigration permit is approved could be
as long as ten years.

Besides these initiatives other ways to attain skills have also been
introduced. Skills are in such high demand at the moment that Canadian
immigrants <> without language
ability will be able to receive language training in order to help with
social integration and job suitability.

The Canadian government has budgeted over £2 million towards developing
language skills for immigrants. This will also allow immigrants to get
suitable education from a recognised Canadian institution which is essential
in order to obtain a work permit.

As Joyce Wayne, Director of the Sheridan Centre for Internationally Trained
Individuals says, "These programmes will not only enhance the language
capabilities of our immigrants, but will also offer our internationally
trained students diplomas and certificates from a recognised college in

This new scheme therefore aims to attract more foreign students who will
ultimately become productive and skilled workers within Canadian society
These laws have been developed in response to Canada's labour needs. And
Canada is not the only country doing this, as skills needs rise so laws
around the world change and more and more countries try and attract the
world's best and brightest to fill labour shortages.
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