The number one priority for our Conservative Government remains economic growth and job creation. Canada emerged from the global recession in a better economic position than most. Yet because of an ageing population, our workforce is shrinking, and we could be faced with a skilled labour shortage of up to 1,000,000 unfilled jobs in the next decade alone.
We understand that a key component of long-term economic prosperity is immigration. Our Conservative Government is committed to implementing long overdue changes to create an immigration system that works for all Canadians. The aim of our sweeping immigration reform is to ensure that Canada welcomes the hardworking skilled workers our economy requires.
For example, we are introducing reforms to the Federal Skilled Worker Program, Canada’s largest economic immigration program. In order to be selected, newcomers need to pass an updated screening system that rewards various factors such as education, work experience and official language abilities. Research has consistently shown that these factors are the most important in determining immigrant success.
We’re also creating a new a skilled trades stream. For too long, it’s has been nearly impossible for hardworking skilled tradespeople, whose skills are increasingly in demand in Canada, to get through our skilled worker program because of outdated requirements.
Our Conservative Government also introduced the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) program, now the fastest growing economic immigration program. This offers a pathway to permanent residency for the international student graduates and skilled workers who have already shown they can succeed in Canada’s economy.
To make sure new Canadians are best positioned for success in helping grow our economy, our Conservative Government has also taken several steps to improve the process to have foreign credentials recognized. For example, we created the Foreign Credentials Referral Office, which has helped many internationally trained individuals begin the process of credential recognition in Canada well before they arrive. We have also put in place a framework which has resulted in members of eight occupations, including pharmacists, nurses, and engineers, having their credentials recognized within one year.
It’s crucial that Canada continue to attract the top talent from around the world. By recruiting people with the right sets of skills, we’re not only able to fast-track worthy applicants, but meet the demands of our labour market. As a result of our improvements to Canada’s immigration system, immigrants will see their outcomes improve, jobs will be created, and our economy will grow. Our Government’s immigration reforms are good for all Canadians.