1. New immigration category for international graduates and foreign workers in Canada
Tuesday, 12 August 2008
Citizenship and Immigration Minister Diane Finley today announced the details of the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), a new category of Canadian immigration for Permanent Residency.
The Canadian Experience Class is designed to allow temporary foreign workers and international graduates, currently in Canada on temporary visas, to transition into Permanent Residents and eventually Canadian citizens. These individuals are very promising immigration candidates in that they have Canadian education and/or Canadian work experience and have already integrated into the workforce and settled into their communities.
This Canadian experience is a key selection factor for the CEC.
The requirements differ for the two different types of applicants. For both types, applicants must have valid temporary resident status in Canada at the time of application and they must have moderate or basic language abilities, depending on the skill level of their occupation.
For international graduates with Canadian work experience, applicants must have successfully completed a program of study of at least two academic years at a Canadian post-secondary educational institution and obtained at least one year of skilled, professional or technical work experience within the past 24 months.
For temporary foreign workers, applicants must have obtained at least two years of skilled, professional or technical work experience within 36 months of the application date.
Previously there was no category specifically for immigration candidates currently working in Canada. However, with the significant increase of temporary foreign workers in Canada and the recent expansion of the Post-Graduation Work Permit for international graduates, it makes sense to have an immigration category that recognizes the investment that these workers and their employers have made to the Canadian economy.
In making the announcement, Minister Finley noted that “international students and skilled workers would be more likely to choose Canada if they knew their time in Canada and contribution to Canadian society would assist in their eligibility to apply to stay permanently.”
2. Canadian companies actively recruiting overseas
Wednesday, 06 August 2008
With persistent labour shortages in certain industries across Canada, more and more Canadian employers are looking to recruit workers from overseas. Alberta, whose booming economy has left it especially strapped for skilled workers, has recently led important recruitment drives to India, the United Kingdom, and South Africa.
"I believe with the shortage of labour in Canada, more and more companies will be going abroad not only to India, China and the Philippines, but also Eastern Europe," states Kirk White, a recruitment coordinator in Fort McMurray with OPTI Canada Inc.
His company is currently in the process of hiring up to 28 short-listed candidates found at career fairs across India in May.
In June, the first-ever Opportunities Canada Expo was held in the United Kingdom, organized by the City of Calgary, Calgary Economic Development, and the Alberta government’s Employment and Immigration officers. According to the Alberta companies who took part, it was a great success and yielded a large pool of qualified candidates.
Canadian employers are looking to tap into global workforce as much as possible. It has proved competitive, with other nations such as Australian and New Zealand recruiting in India very strongly as well, among other countries.
"There are 3.7 billion workers in the Middle East (and Asia) as temporary workers migrating back and forth," says Deepak Brahmbhatt, a spokesperson with the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology. "If we get those kinds of workers . . . they are able to fit into the Alberta market."
3. Minister Fortier visits Mexico, Panama and Ecuador
August 15, 2008
The Honourable Michael M Fortier, Minister of International Trade, will visit Mexico, Panama and Ecuador from August 11 to 15 to explore business opportunities that will strengthen economic growth in Canada and in these countries.
“Mexico, Panama and Ecuador are important partners for Canada in the Americas,” said Minister Fortier. “Our governments want to strengthen commercial relations with our hemispheric neighbours to create closer ties and stimulate economic growth in Canada.”
While in Mexico, Minister Fortier will deliver a keynote address to the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, his first major speech as minister of International Trade. He will also speak with Canadian companies active in Mexico to discuss how bilateral trade and investment could be promoted.
Mexico has been identified as a priority market for Canada. Since 1994, trade between Canada and Mexico has grown more than fourfold under NAFTA and now exceeds $20 billion. Mexico is currently Canada’s fifth-largest export market and third-largest source of imports.
In Panama, the Minister will meet with government representatives. He will also speak to the business community to highlight Canadian involvement in a number of local economic ventures, including the Panama Canal Expansion Project.
Canada and Panama enjoy growing commercial and political relations, which include an open skies agreement signed in June 2008 and a foreign investment promotion and protection agreement signed in 1998.
While in Ecuador, Minister Fortier will meet with key decision makers. He will also tour the new Quito international airport construction project—a major infrastructure project, in which a Canadian-led consortium and the Canadian Commercial Corporation are involved.
Canada has long-standing relations with Ecuador. Canadian companies are major investors in Ecuador’s oil and gas, and mining sectors, accounting for 90 percent of investment in these areas.
Source: Foreign Affairs & International Trade Canada