Research has consistently shown that language proficiency and youth are two of the most important factors in the economic success of immigrants.
The new Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) is addressing these factors to ensure that Canada is selecting skilled immigrants. Those authorized to apply will require minimum official language thresholds and will be granted increased points for official language proficiency, making language the most important factor in the selection process. Furthermore, an increased emphasis will be on younger immigrants, who are more likely to acquire valuable Canadian experience, are better positioned to adapt to changing labor market conditions, and who will spend a greater number of years contributing to Canada’s economy.
Although those are the most revealing criteria, there are more:
- Introduction of the Educational Credential Assessment (ECA), so that education points awarded reflect the foreign credential’s true value in Canada;
- Changes to the arranged employment process, allowing employers to hire applicants quickly, if there is a demonstrated need in the Canadian labor market; and
- Additional adaptability points for spousal language ability and Canadian work experience.
“Our transformational changes to the FSWP will help ensure that skilled newcomers are able to contribute their skills fully to the economy as soon as possible. This is good for newcomers, good for the economy, and good for all Canadians.” said Minister Kenney.
In order to remain competitive and attract skilled immigrants, actions will be taken by the government in order to deflate backlog and prevent wait times to grow again. Applications intake will be capped to 5,000 new applications for all eligible 24 specific occupations. This will include a sub-cap of 300 new applications for each eligible occupation.
Applications under the new FSWP will be accepted starting May 4, 2013. Until then, however, the FSWP application process does not change – only individuals with qualifying job offers or those applying under the PhD stream are eligible for processing.
All applicants who are considering applying on or after May 4 are invited to consult the Information for Applicants to the New Federal Skilled Worker Program. It outlines some of the steps that can be taken now to prepare and includes the eligible occupations list and the organizations designated to conduct educational credential assessments.
New rules separate from the FSWP will allow both CIC and Human Resources and Skills development Canada “to impose conditions on employers, conduct inspections and to impose consequences for non-compliance at any time” said CIC spokesperson Julie Lafortune.
The key here is to acknowledge all the benefits skilled immigrants bring to the Canadian economy, while insuring a thorough and comprehensive workforce planning is in place amongst organizations in Canada.