Migration changes target younger workers with better language skills

Migration changes target younger workers with better language skills

The need to bring skilled immigrants into Canada is no secret for HR pros, and now changes aimed to commence from the start of next year will ensure the top talent is coming to Canada. It’s the first major revision from Ottawa for 10 years.

A new set of point ratings as part of Canada’s Federal Skilled Worker Program will put a heavy emphasis on language, and establish a minimum official language threshold. Language proficiency will now be judged as 28 points, up from 24.

A total of 67 points is required to be approved for the program, and that number is not set to change.

The program is Canada’s largest economic immigration program, and the changes are intended to attract those with the best English or French skills, as well as a younger cohort.

Extra points would be awarded to  those aged under 35 years, and a smaller bonus for those under 46. Older applicants would not receive any extra points, the reason being, it is  hoped that younger immigrants will remain in the workforce longer.

The changes were the result of  research  into what skills and qualifications were most closely related to success after immigration, the minister for Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Jason Kenney said.

Other changes would see international education assessed by Canadian organizations.

“This is an important step we are taking to address the problem of immigrants arriving and not being able to work in their field,” Kenney said. “This new requirement will help potential newcomers make informed choices about immigration and Canadian career paths.”

It also will reduce the point value of international education and experience, reflecting the value employers place on international experience, the government statement said.

This year the government also expanded the Temporary Foreign Work program in Alberta to include a wider range of in-demand jobs.

 “Alberta is facing some of the most acute labour shortages in the country,” Kenney said. “The expansion of this pilot project will enable more employers in Alberta to hire foreign workers on a temporary basis to fill short-term skills and labour needs when Canadians or permanent residents are unavailable.”

Originally including just steamfitters/pipefitters, the program now also includes welders, ironworkers, carpenters and other skilled trades.