Canada to Focus on Skilled Trades People for Immigration

Canada is reportedly planning another major overhaul of its immigration system to bring in more skilled trades people such as electricians and perhaps fewer people with top notch university degrees.

While Prime Minister Stephen Harper told the World Economic Forum in Davos about plans to change the immigration system to bring in people needed by the labour market, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has been a little bit more forthcoming.

Debate Over Current Immigration System

He says that the Federal Skilled Worker Program will be changed to help bring in more skilled trades people. There is much criticism that the current points-based Skilled Worker Program regime favours people with degrees while not favouring those without much higher education but with the qualification and skills that Canada so dearly needs.

As SmartCanadian has reported in the past, this is not entirely new concept. For a while the government, particularly Minister Jason Kenney has been musing about the need for a debate about the types of immigrants Canada needs – it is about striking a balance between the skilled trades people and highly qualified doctors, engineers, managers etc.

The point was that while Canada needs highly qualified people, they are also finding it difficult to integrate into the labour force, while the demand for plumbers, electricians, brick layers and others keeps increasing.

Canadian officials are also thinking loudly about the advantage of bringing in younger workers who can contribute longer to the Canadian economy, and also about reaching out to them, instead of waiting for them to apply for immigration.

This might include special workshops and seminars, or even advertisements in target countries.

It is not clear when the changes will be made. Canada says it will keep its annual immigrant intake number high this year as well, which means at least 250,000  new immigrants can be expected.



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