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Canada urged to target euro migrants

by | Jan 18, 2012

Most of Europe’s dismal financial situation combined with its high rates of unemployment, particularly youth unemployment, has led some analysts to urge Canadian immigration authorities to take their pick of the best and brightest Europe has to offer. With just a precious few European countries such as Germany, Austria and Holland managing to resist the recession that has gripped the majority of Europe, many countries have been left with high unemployment rates and talented, capable workers desperate for new opportunities. Spain has an unemployment rate of 22.9% and Greece, 18.8% according to data from the European Union. Canada has a comparatively low unemployment rate of just 7.5%. While these unemployment rates are worrying, the youth unemployment rates of those under 25 in Europe are even more cause for concern: Spain’s youth unemployment rate is an incredible 49.6% while Greece, again the country with the second worst record, is 45.6%. Canada has a youth unemployment rate of just 15%. Canadian Immigration Minster Jason Kenny has stated that the country intends to take in 250,000 immigrants in 2012, yet despite the outrageous rates of unemployment in Europe, Canada looks set to continue to grant the majority of Canadian visas to immigrants from Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Canadian immigration policies have been concentrated on diversification since the 1960s when efforts were made to encourage a greater number of ethnicities and nationalities to Canada. In 1957, Canada accepted over a quarter of a million European migrants and just over 3,000 from Asia. By the 1970s however, Asian migrants had become the largest source of Canadian migrants, with more than 30,000 migrants than Europe in 1979. This policy has continued to the present day with Europeans now representing just 15% of the total number of migrants entering Canada. Migrants from African and the Middle East have also become a significant portion of the total number of migrants with 67,000 Middle Eastern and African migrants entering Canada in 2011. However, while European migrations rates remain so restricted, some commentators have claimed that Canada is not taking advantage of the opportunity to recruit some of Europe’s frustrated and desperate unemployed workforce, many of whom and young, well educated and English or French speaking.

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