The Canadian immigration minister, Jason Kenney, has said he expects Canadian immigration to solve many of the problems facing the country in the years ahead, particularly an aging workforce.
As Canada’s baby boomer generation continues to approach retirement age, the country faces a struggle to replace the vast workforce.
Mr Kenney, however, says Canadian immigration should be used to address the issue. ‘Immigration is going to, I think, I predict, continue to grow in importance in Atlantic Canada, including Newfoundland, because of the skill shortages, because of the aging of the population’, said the minister. ‘We don’t really have much choice but to try to address that partly through immigration.’ Mr Kenney has in recent weeks travelled to both the UK and Ireland in an effort to attract more skilled graduates and changes have been made to Canada visa and immigration policy in order to reflect the growing concern within the country. Canada’s immigration program is one of the most open in the world but has struggled to source the skills it has needed.
A common problem Mr Kenney has often cited is migrants entering the country only to find their qualifications or experience aren’t applicable in Canada and are forced to work low paid, blue collar jobs. In order to combat that, Mr Kenney has made young migrants with English or French language skills and the qualifications or experience needed by Canadian employers a priority in recent immigration legislation.
The result is a new, streamlined system designed to funnel skilled migrants directly to critical areas of Canadian industry.