Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has once again emphasized on the importance of foreign skilled immigrants to Canada’s future prosperity.
The Prime Minister reiterated how important it is for Canada to continue to bring in skilled migrants over the coming years in order to fill severe job shortages in the country.
Speaking to a Canada-United States business group meeting held in Ottawa, Prime Minister Harper highlighted skilled trade workers, scientists and engineers as being occupations of particular shortage in the country, especially in Western Canada.
“This is in fact in my judgment the biggest challenge our country faces,” Harper said of skills shortages when asked about future growth in the economy.
The aging population is partly to blame, but there are educational issues as well.
“For whatever reason, we know that peoples’ choices, in terms of the education system, tend to lead us to what appears to be a chronic shortage of certain skills. They are skilled trades, scientists and engineers,” indicated the Prime Minister.
The government was focused on making profound changes to the Canadian immigration system in an effort to recruit skilled immigrants by planning to admit between 53,000 to 55,000 new Canadians in 2013 through an overhauled federal skilled worker program. The changes won’t necessarily mean more immigrants, but instead will focus on targeting immigrants with the right skills and experience.
According to Harper, Canada is increasingly in competition with other countries for skilled immigrants to tailor immigration to meet economic aims under a process where “we start to identify the needs we have and we go out and we find those needs in the world”.
November 30′ 2012