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WES Weekly Roundup May 2, 2023

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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.

What Role Can Immigration Play in Addressing Current and Future Labor Shortages? (MPI)

Globally, addressing chronic labour shortages has become a priority for many policy makers looking to support employers in securing skilled talent to support their needs and fuel economic growth. Fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic has placed additional strain on longstanding challenges including shortages in health and elder-care, agriculture, and navigating automation and the rise of artificial intelligence in the labour market. Many countries have looked to skilled migrants to offset shortages however, experts argue that enhanced migration pathways are not stand-alone successes. In order to ensure that immigration continues to be instrumental in facilitating economic recovery, welcoming an increased number of immigrants needs to be accompanied by settlement and labour market integration supports. Key recommendations include:

  • Create flexible immigration pathways that attract "talent" while ensuring new arrivals are set up for success.
  • Assess and update shortage lists for dynamic labour markets.
  • Attract and retain immigrants who are able to adapt to rapidly changing labour markets.
  • Develop and leverage occupation or sector specific work permits.

Tentative agreement reached for 120,000 public servants (CBC News)

The Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) strike which began on April 19th has reached tentative deal with workers across the federal government. This has ended the national strike for an estimated 120,000 workers under the Treasury Board. The tentative agreement includes: wage increases compounded over four years, language on remote work, provisions on leave with pay for family-related responsibilities, and a new paid leave for Indigenous employees to participate in traditional practices. An additional 35,000 federal workers at the Canada Revenue Agency remain on strike across the country with contract negotiations still ongoing.

Canada developing new immigration policy to attract French-speaking people, teachers (Toronto Star)

The federal government has laid out is five-year action plan for Official Languages. The plan aims to increase the recruitment of French-speaking individuals from Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and the Americas and have them settle in Francophone minority communities (outside of Quebec). In early 2023, the Canadian government reached its 2022 target of at least 4.4% French speaking immigrants settling outside of Quebec. While there is no new target set, Immigration Minister Fraser notes that Francophone minority communities will experience the impacts and benefits of this immigration plan. A focus on the education sector is an additional part of the plan, as attracting Francophone teachers will help strengthen better access to French-language education including early childhood programs, French immersion programs and post-secondary learning. Other initiatives under the plan include: expanding internships for youth in language minority communities facing labour shortages, increasing bilingual health workers and the creation and dissemination of scientific information in French.

Refugee Resettlement Spotlight

Canada to support Sudanese residents with new immigration measures (Reuters)

Canada will introduce new immigration measures to support Sudanese nationals. Immigration Minister Sean Fraser announced that new immigration measures will soon enable Sudanese temporary residents to extend their stay rather than return home due to the ongoing crisis. Measure will also include waiving passport and permanent resident travel fees for Canadian citizens and permanent residents in Sudan who wish to leave. According to the latest security advisory, the federal government will no longer be offering evacuation flights out of the Sudan due to "deteriorating security" in the country. Canadians who remain in Sudan are urged to avoid travelling to Wadi Seidna Air Base, where many countries including Canada have been organizing evacuation flights just north of Khartoum, the nation's capital. The Department of National Defense cites that nearly 400 Canadian citizens and permanent residents have been brought out of Sudan on national and allied flights, about 230 Canadians are still seeking assistance through Global Affairs Canada.

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