Apparently, Canada is doing an excellent job when it comes to recruiting and welcoming foreign workers. Also, its selection process came in for praise in a report from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
The OECD study has come out at a really convenient time as Quebec debates whether to slash the number of immigrants it accepts, and ahead of a federal election which is expected to highlight the immigration debate.
The organization reviewed how Canada recruits foreign labour — from the Express Entry program that sees the government effectively “invite” people to come to Canada permanently, to programs geared towards temporary workers.
Their analysis is that the system is largely working but point out flaws such as the fact that the screening policy leaves room for political tinkering and that too many professional credentials from outside the country are not recognized in Canada.
The OECD released its report on Thursday alongside federal Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen, whose Liberal government made several changes to the Express Entry system initially designed by the previous Conservatives.
Some of the Liberal changes such as reducing the number of points an applicant received for having a job offer helped better align with the needs of the market.
The study suggests, however, that there are still mismatches occurring in the way the system is run. For example, what gets an applicant into the pool of potential invitees doesn’t align with what leads to an invitation to immigrate, making it harder for areas with labour shortages to get the candidates they need.
About 85,000 economic immigrants a year settle in Canada and whether that number is too high, too low, or just right is a frequent political flashpoint, linked at times to whether newcomers integrate successfully into the country.
Some business groups are arguing the planned intake numbers are far too low, and others have said the plan, which comes as Quebec also pursues a so-called values test for newcomers.
The study also found that newcomers directly recruited and settled by individual provinces often have better outcomes than those who are welcomed via federal programs.
The Conservatives have already promised that under their government, they would improve the credential recognition system.
The 2019 Liberal federal budget promised to make permanent a pilot project that fast-tracks the application process for certain kinds of employees. -CINEWS