World Education Services (WES) is a non-profit social enterprise dedicated to helping international students, immigrants, and refugees achieve their educational and career goals in the United States and Canada. The weekly roundup includes research, stories, and events of interest to the Canadian immigration and settlement community. This content has been created by WES and is reproduced here with their permission, in partnership.
The National Occupation Classification (NOC) is a major part of Canada’s immigration system. Managed by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) and Statistics Canada the system is reviewed every ten years. NOC 2021 is scheduled to come into effect in November 2022. According to an internal briefing memo there will be an additional sixteen occupations that will be eligible under Express Entry including payroll administrators, dental assistants and dental laboratory assistants, as well as bus drivers and subway operators. Three occupations will become ineligible under the program. The most significant change to NOC 2021 is that the current four-category “skill” structure will be replaced by a new six-category system known as the Training, Education, Experience and Responsibilities (TEER). NOC 2021 will also use a five-tier hierarchical system to classify occupations and they will have a five-digit code instead of the current four-digit system. Statistics Canada emphasizes that the TEER system aims to provide more clarity on the level of education and work experience required to work in an occupation. Secondly, TEER is intended to give stakeholders a better understanding of the skills required for each occupation.
A new series of reports from the Northern Policy Institute has found that while targeted immigration to Northern Ontario has been the focus of the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP), there is still a disconnect between the occupations included under RNIP and what the communities need. Northern Ontario must attract 1,700 new residents a year at minimum for 20 years to keep pace with population and labour market demands in the region. With a particular focus on Thunder Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, North Bay, Timmins and Sudbury, RNIP was created in 2020 as a three-year program to encourage newcomers to settle in rural and small areas of Northern Ontario since these areas are experiencing job vacancy rates between five and 55 percent in several occupations. RNIP is based on the applicant securing employment prior to arrival. As part of the program, candidates must demonstrate their intention to stay in the city and to become part of the Northern Ontario community. After much paperwork, interviews, evaluations of the job offer and review by selection committee, if successful the individual is recommended to IRCC for permanent residency. In light of these findings, the report recommends several improvements including:
Immigration flows are increasing across rural and small communities in Canada. However, many regions lack adequate settlement service supports and programs to aid newcomer's integration in the region. Depending on the community, it may be typical for a youth to find themselves being one of the few, if not the only newcomer in their classrooms or social settings, placing them further at risk of social exclusion. Settlement in rural communities can be especially difficult for newcomer youth may be of isolated from key resources that are common in urban centers - adequate housing, healthcare, language training, career development, and ethnocultural networks. For example, rural schools may offer an hour or two per week of ESL classes compared to all day programming available in urban schools - with many newcomer youth having to fill in the learning gaps for themselves. Yet, a critical factor that contributes to reduced programming is the lower levels of intergovernmental funding allocated to such services. Advocates are calling for a rural immigration strategy that provides culturally competent "wraparound" settlement services, to alleviate barriers to integration for youth and their families. This would prioritize further coordination between federal and regional stakeholders including governments, advocates, and community-based organizations, to ensure local entities are able to equip newcomer youth with the tools they need to thrive in Canada.
Financial support from the federal government will now be available for Ukrainian refugees arriving in Canada. The commitment follows an announcement made by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in April to expand support mechanisms for Ukrainians. A one-time payment of $3,000 per adult and $1,500 per child are available to Ukrainian nationals and their family members who arrived under the CUAET, a specialized program allowing them to live, work, and study in Canada for a maximum of three years. As of May 25th, 120,668 applications have been approved for the emergency response program. Applications for financial aid opened June 2nd, with funds expected to be released within five days of approval. Latest reports indicate that all three of the federally chartered flights for Ukrainian refugees have now arrived, and refugees are being offered temporary hotel accommodations for up to 14 days if they are without suitable arrangements upon landing in Canada.