Report claims British Columbia needs more skilled immigrants

Wed, 2012-06-13 03:58 PM
A new government report says that the Canadian province, British Columbia, will need more skilled immigrants to fill skills shortages in the province. The Immigration Task Force (ITF) released their final report, confirming that British Columbia still needs more immigrants to fill skill shortages. The task force, appointed by Premier Christy Clark, was set up to review key government programs with the goal of increasing the number of skilled immigrants and investors in British Columbia.

Task force members held meetings and consultations with stakeholders across the province and came to the conclusion that if more skilled immigrants are not immediately brought into the province, businesses may have to close or relocate. This would result in fewer jobs and opportunities for people from British Columbia.

"Travelling across the province, hearing stories from a range of employers about the challenges they are facing filling jobs in all types of industries impressed upon the task force the immediate and overwhelming need to bring more skilled immigrants to B.C. through a more efficient and responsive system," said ITF Chair and Minister of State for Multiculturalism, John Yap.

The report mentioned 10 key recommendations for the province and the Canadian government. Some of the recommendations are as follows:
  • Immediately increase immigration levels for British Columbia
  • Grow and expand the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program.
  • Ensure economic immigration program application processes and requirements are as straightforward and efficient as possible, and adjusting visa numbers accordingly to employer needs.
  • Capitalize on British Columbia as a destination of choice for entrepreneurs and investors.
  • Provide timely, effective information and support to newcomers and employers.
According to Pat Bell, Minister of Jobs, Tourism, and Innovation, British Columbia has already begun to take immediate action to fill job vacancies through the introduction of the Northeast Pilot Project. This will also expand the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program to include more eligible occupations throughout the region.

"To sustain and create new jobs over the next decade we need more workers than British Columbia can supply. The recommendations in the ITF report point us in the right direction and give us the tools we need to achieve both our labour and economic goals. I'm proud that B.C. is taking this proactive approach to economic immigration," said Bell.

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