Monday, June 17, 2024

Feds can do more to promote success of permanent immigrant workers, Canadian think tank says

While the federal government has made progress, it should enact more reforms to improve the economic performance of permanent immigrant workers, finds a new study released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan, Canadian public policy think tank.

“As Ottawa increases immigration targets, government policies can do more to increase the ability of immigrant workers to more fully contribute to the economy,” said Jock Finlayson, senior fellow at the Fraser Institute and co-author of Enhancing the Labour Market Outcomes of Immigrants to Canada.

In 2022, 437,000 permanent immigrants came to Canada, the largest number in a single year in Canadian history. According to the federal government’s immigration plan, that number will rise to 465,000 in 2023, 485,000 in 2024 and 500,000 in 2025.

The public policy think tank says the government should enact policies that promote higher employment rates and increased labour productivity among permanent immigrant workers (also known as economic immigrants) like selecting a greater percentage of from the available pool of temporary foreign workers and students already in Canada as well as attach greater weight to language capability (English or French) when evaluating applicants. Ottawa should also strengthen immigrant-focused language/communication skills education services for recent immigrants, it stated.

In addition, the feds should review and where appropriate reform Canadian professional and occupational licensing requirements to eliminate unnecessary barriers that make it difficult for educated newcomers to practise their profession/occupation in Canada

“If the federal government wants to improve the employment outcomes of permanent immigrant workers, it must enact targeted reforms,” said Steven Globerman, study co-author and senior fellow at the Fraser Institute.

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