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.
Within a year, Canada's population has surged by 1.2 million, largely due to increased annual immigration targets for permanent and non-permanent residents such as temporary foreign workers and international students. This trend is likely to continue into next year with the population expected to grow by another million, making Canada the fastest growing economy in the G7. Immigration, both temporary and permanent, has been looked to as a means to recruit workers to fill labour shortages in critical segments of the workforce and ease pressures facing employers. Economists urge policy makers to focus on reform and reduction of barriers to credential transferability and integration for internationally trained immigrants who have already arrived. Researchers project that without adequate policy infrastructure, the current boom in immigration levels may place additional strain on longstanding challenges facing public services such as health care and widen the housing shortfall by nearly half a million units within two years. To offset current pressures, the authors note that employers, institutions, and policy makers must pull on all levers available.
Immigration continues to play a significant role in shaping ever-changing demographic trends globally and locally. Upward trends of immigrant youth enrollment in higher-ed institutions have warranted the attention of researchers, as students of immigrant backgrounds are making up greater proportions of the post-secondary student population. Students of immigrant origin account for 80 percent of the overall increase in US higher-education enrollment within the last two decades, with enrollment growth rates among students of immigrant backgrounds out-pacing those of non-immigrant origin. As of 2021, 31 percent of all post-secondary students in the United States, are youth of immigrant backgrounds, representing 5.6 million students enrolled in US colleges and universities. This includes 3.7 million youth who are born in the US (second-generation) and 1.9 million first-generation students who were born abroad and immigrated to the US (excluding international students). Youth within this demographic represent diverse ethnic origins and immigration statuses that include permanent residents, refugees, asylum seekers, those holding DACA or Temporary Protected Status, and those without status. With this expanding talent pool of immigrant youth in post-secondary education, additional investments in research and policy supports are needed to facilitate their school-to-work transition and sustained labour market integration.
As Canada’s category-based Express Entry system evolves, Minister Marc Miller recently announced that the system will now include a streamlined pathway for migrants experienced in the trades sector. This expansion seeks to fill labour gaps in Canada’s construction sector in addition to other occupations in the skilled trades. Ongoing shortages in the construction industry present a need to fast track the inclusion of those who are internationally trained. There is currently a record high construction worker shortage, with 80,000 job vacancies. As well, various regions across Canada have been dealing with ongoing housing shortages, and an increased supply of construction workers is cited by researchers as key to addressing such gaps. The expansion of the Express Entry system into the skilled trades seeks to enable Canada to address concerns as it continues to further develop a system that enables skilled workers to permanently immigrate to the country and fill critical shortages in the trades sector.
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