“Skill shortages are literally on our doorsteps,” stated Citizenship and Immigration minister, Chris Alexander, at a conference with business owners in Vancouver. With birth rates on the decline, the demand for foreign skilled workers will be increasing. Canada is looking to find immigrants who are willing to integrate into local communities and fill the needs of a job market in demand for skilled workers. Like many industrial nations, Canadian birthrates have dropped to 1.61 children per woman, and even as low as 1.42 in BC.
By seeking out skilled workers, The Canadian government has gained international recognition for its immigration policies and hopes to continue this trend in the future. With a very labor dependent economy, the country will be looking for many new people to fill the needs in industries, such as international trade, construction, and energy. As a result, Canada is one of the few nations where large portions of skilled immigrants are moving for work or to start a business.
For this purpose, Minister Alexander is asking business owners to help the government by making it known what skills are needed. He acknowledges that the labor needs should be addressed through Canadian citizens first, and that companies should only turn to immigration as a solution once all local options have been exhausted.
The government hopes to be able to recruit top skilled workers by shortening the application process. Starting last year, Minister Alexander outlined an initiative taken that will significantly reduce the waiting list for federal skilled workers by using an online form to quickly sort through applicants. Yet, the country still remains committed to family reunification as refugee classes of immigration by aiming to reduce the wait times to two to three by 2015.