7th March
written by John.Weir

A new report shows that there is job growth in that sector in British Columbia, Alberta, and the prairie provinces.

Here are some highlights:

  • Saskatechewan – Engineering markets in Saskatchewan are more cyclical and more varied, but supply constraints are an issue. Resource projects are absorbing all available engineers – especially mining engineers. Saskatchewan is a small market with big project demands that come and go. Local post-secondary programs are not able to keep pace. Engineering immigration has been limited and strong current demand is reflected as Canadians from other provinces seek jobs and licensure in the province;
  • Alberta – Along with B.C., Alberta is the strongest engineering market in Canada. There was strong engineering job growth in the past year, however there are ongoing shortages and recruiting challenges for engineers with five to 10 years of experience or specialized skills. Growth in enrolments in post secondary programs for engineers has lagged behing national trends and may contribute to a tight labour market;
  • British Columbia – One of the two strongest engineering markets in Canada, B.C. faces skills shortages and volatile markets in resource related occupations like mining, metallurgical, and petroleum engineers. However conditions are more balanced for computer and industrial engineers. B.C employers will need to source engineers from other markets, however it is hard to attract them from other western provinces due to competitive compensation levels;
  • Manitoba – Expansion demands are concentrated in resource and utility projects. Construction, particularly in electrical generation and transmission, is a big driver. Labour markets are divided with ongoing shortages and recruiting challenges for engineers with five to 10 years of experience or specialized skills.

On a national basis, expansion demand is expected to create an additional 16,000 jobs for engineers by 2020. Virtually all of these jobs will be west of Quebec, with the bulk of them in Alberta and British Columbia. Alberta specifically has lagged behind national trends in enrolments in engineering programs and an additional 900 engineers are needed annually to balance market demand. In Manitoba, increased construction activity, in particular in electricity generation and transmission, is leading to increased need for qualified engineers.

“Employers in British Columbia will need to source engineers from other markets for much of the coming decade,” said Stephen McCrum, Vice President, Western Canada, Randstad Engineering. “The focus will be on specialized and experienced engineers to replace retiring workers.” The average age of employers in British Columbia is higher than in other provinces, raising replacement demand.

“In Saskatchewan specifically, engineering markets are in a state of flux,” McCrum said. “It is a small market, with big project demands that come and go. Local engineering programs are not meeting the cyclical demands of the market as Canadians from other provinces seek engineering jobs in Saskatchewan.”

3rd January
written by John.Weir

Canada has announced that the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) will reopen in May 2013.

The FSWP is Canada’s main skilled migration programme and enables applicants to apply for permanent resident status if they have adequate skills and experience.

Jason Kenney, the Canadian minister with responsibility for immigration policy, told journalists that the FSWP would re-open to applicants on 4th May 2013 using a revised points-based selection system. He also revealed the new selection criteria that will be in place when the system goes live.

Mr Kenney closed the FSWP to new applicants who did not already have a Canadian job offer from 1st July 2012. When he announced the closure, Mr Kenney said that his department would draw up a new set of criteria for selection which would ensure that successful applicants under the FSWP would be more likely to succeed when they arrived. Mr Kenney said in June that the changes would enable successful applicants to ‘hit the ground running’ when they arrived in Canada.

Mr Kenney told journalists on 18th December that the new FSWP assessment criteria will include the following
• A higher minimum threshold of skill in either English or French (Canada’s two official languages) than before. Applicants will now have to demonstrate by way of a test that they meet level 7 of the Canadian Language Benchmark.
• A greater number of points will be granted to younger applicants than under the old system.
• A new ‘Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) scheme to allow the Canadian government to compare foreign educational qualifications with Canadian ones so that their worth can be better assessed
• A reform of the ‘Arranged Employment’ rules so that those with an offer of employment can be hired more quickly
• Additional points granted to FSWP applicants if their spouse has ability in English or French and if he/she has work experience in Canada

Mr Kenney said ‘the new FSWP criteria will ensure Canada is selecting the skilled immigrants our economy needs, who are the most likely to succeed and fully realise their potential in Canada.’

From May 2013 onwards, in order to demonstrate that they have an adequate standard of English, or French, applicants will have to be assessed by an approved agency. A list of these agencies can be found on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), website. CIC is Mr Kenney’s department in the Canadian government.

They will also have to have educational qualifications received from non-Canadian educational establishments assessed by an approved Canadian organisation. This comparison must be performed before the applicant arrives in Canada. This will enable an applicant to assess whether their qualifications are adequate and if necessary to undertake further training, before leaving home, a CIC statement said.

Arranged Employment is a system whereby those with a job offer in Canada before they apply to the FSWP can score an extra 10 points on the FSWP ‘points grid’. The Canadian employer must be approved by Service Canada, which is an agency created in the Canadian Department of Human Resources and Skills Development.

At present, once a Canadian employer has offered a foreign national a job, the employer must make an Arranged Employment request to Service Canada. If the request is approved, Service Canada will then send an Arranged Employment Opinion (AEO), to CIC giving details of the job in question, the pay and the employer’s history. The AEO will also state that the job is genuine and permanent and will ask CIC to expedite the applicant’s request. However, it remains to be seen what the rules will be after the changes are made.

After Mr Kenney announced the proposed changes to the system in August, Ratna Omidvar, who is president of the Canadian charity the Maytree Foundation and board chair of the Toronto Region Immigrant and Employment Council, said that the change in focus may mean that Canada misses out on talent. He called for ‘a little less rigidity’ in the new system. Other critics have said that the focus on language ability might, in effect, discriminate against non-European applicants. Mr Kenney has dismissed these worries.

CIC says there is ‘a large body of research which has consistently shown that language proficiency and youth are two of the most important factors in the economic success of immigrants’.

1st November
written by John.Weir

The Government of Canada will maintain record levels of immigration to support economic growth in 2013, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced today.

“Our Government’s number one priority remains economic and job growth,” said Minister Kenney. “Newcomers bring their skills and talents, contribute to our economy and help renew our workforce so that Canada remains competitive on the world stage.”

According to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC)’s 2012 Annual Report to Parliament on Immigration tabled today, CIC plans to admit a total of 240,000 to 265,000 new permanent residents in 2013, for the seventh straight year. This represents the highest sustained level of immigration in Canadian history.

In particular, the 2013 Immigration Levels Plan makes room for the rapid growth in the Canadian Experience Class (CEC). The CEC, which was created in 2008, facilitates the transition from temporary to permanent residence for those with high-skilled work experience in Canada, including international students and temporary foreign workers. Admissions under the CEC have increased from about 2,500 people in 2009 to more than 6,000 in 2011, with more expected this year than ever before. In 2013, CIC intends to accept a record high of up to 10,000 permanent residents through this popular program.

“Immigration plays a vital role in our country’s long-term prosperity,” said Minister Kenney. “Our 2013 Immigration Plan will build on our economic success by bringing in more of the world’s top talent who already have a successful track record in Canada.”

Every year, CIC consults with provinces, territories and public stakeholders across Canada to develop a balanced immigration plan. Besides stakeholder consultations, the Canadian public is invited to participate through online consultations on immigration levels and mix. This year, for the first time in Canadian history, CIC consulted with key Aboriginal groups.

22nd October
written by John.Weir

Canada is looking to make itself the leading destination for UK graduates looking for better career and life opportunities.

According to Canadian immigration minister Jason Kenney, Canada wants to convince UK graduates who may be struggling to find jobs in recession-hit Britain to “think Canada before you think Australia”.

To entice migrants, the length of time they need to work in skilled Canadian jobs to qualify for permanent residency is being halved from two years to one. The change is likely to take effect from next January.

It is hoped this will encourage young people who go to Canada to work in gap year jobs in bars or ski resorts, but then find more skilled work, to settle in Canada in the longer term.

Mr Kenney said: “There are a lot of young Britons who are under-employed or unemployed but are highly educated.

“I think so many young Britons have, for some reason, thought of Australia before Canada as a destination for immigration, and we want to be at the front of the competition for the world’s best and brightest.”

Looking for a job in Canada ? Come to Canada Live in Leeds on the 3rd and 4th November.

He put Australia’s enduring appeal down to “rugby and cricket, andNeighbours, and the attraction of the weather”.

Reasons to choose Canada over Australia, he said, included its closer proximity to the UK and robust economy – “the strongest in the G8”.

However, there is disagreement within Canada as to whether the government should be retraining its own workers rather than recruiting from overseas.

16th March
written by John.Weir

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney is calling on employers to actively seek out and recruit the skilled immigrants they need, so that the Immigration Department can fast-track their applications and address Canada’s skills shortages.

Mr. Kenney plans create a just-in-time immigration system in which immigrants, particularly those with strong language skills, would be offered a job, have their credentials assessed, get accepted and settled in Canada – all within a year of applying. At the moment, that process can take several years

Richard McKeagan, president of the Mechanical Contractors Association of Canada, welcomed the news that Mr. Kenney wants to introduce a special immigration stream for skilled tradespeople. “There’s going to be a skills shortage in our industry, there are some already in some parts of the country,” Mr. McKeagan said. “Anything that allows people in the construction industry, where we need people, to find meaningful employment, we support that.”

Come to Canada Live to find your dream job in Canada

7th February
written by John.Weir

Canadian governments and employers will be in Edinburgh next week, hoping to recruit some highly skilled Scottish workers.

The Canada Live jobs expo will play host to the governments of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward island, as well as several Canadian employers from the provinces. Skilled workers are in demand to fill a number of roles in Canada, and the recruitment teams will be looking to fill these vacancies in Edinburgh.

The roles being recruited for range from highly qualified software engineers, nurses, and financial specialists, through to truck mechanics, welders, and trade specialists like plasterers. In addition to generous salary and relocation allowances, successful candidates will also be able to benefit from the breathtaking scenery and outdoors life that Canada’s east coast can offer, not to mention its famed seafood.

Gaylene MacKenzie, Program Officer for Prince Edward island’s Immigration & Investment Division, and someone who has strong Scottish antecedents, says “ We are coming to Scotland looking for candidates who want to help us grow our province. Over the past decade, we have helped literally thousands of people from north of the border make a new life in Canada, so we are here to recruit more skilled workers to join them.”

John Weir, from event organisers EDP, comments, “Canada Live is proud to be bringing Canada to Scotland. Over the two days we are in Edinburgh, we’ll be giving visitors a real flavour of Canadian life, as well as all the vital information they’ll need to make a new life over the pond.”

Canada Live, the UK’s number one for jobs and emigration to Canada is at the International Convention Centre in Edinburgh on the 18th & 19th February 2012 . Doors open on both days at 10am and tickets cost £10 each in advance – under 16’s go free. Tickets can be bought via the website or by phoning 01179 323586

For more information –

John Weir, Event Director

01179 323586 / 07891 077012

31st January
written by John.Weir

Canadian Immigration Minister Jason Kenney says changes are coming to Canada’s immigration system to make it more flexible in an effort to combat labour shortages.

Kenney told CTV’s Question Period that the government is planning to change the points system for selecting immigrants to recognize the skilled trades. This policy change would alter the focus of the traditional immigration preference for university-educated migrants including engineers and doctors.

“People who are skilled tradespeople have an almost impossible job of coming to Canada under our current system because the skilled worker program basically selects people with advanced university degrees,” Kenney told CTV.He said by opening up the border to more trade-oriented workers, the federal government will be able to attract “hidden jewels” that will help fill labour shortages in specific areas.

Interested in a job in Canada ? Come to Canada Live, the UK’s number one emigrate show for all things Canadian, in Edinburgh, London and Birmingham.

30th January
written by John.Weir

Thousands of temporary foreign workers are at risk of losing their permission to work in Canada and being sent home reports The Star.

Since November, many foreigners working in skilled jobs and trades in Canada have had their renewal applications rejected. Some are being forced to collect wages under the table while trying to restore their work status.

Legal experts blame the chaos on two government departments being badly out of sync in processing the documents required to get a temporary work permit.

“It is a colossal headache,” said David Coombes, an immigration consultant based in Victoria, B.C., who has had seven such refusals recently. “This is unfair to the employers and especially to the workers, who will have to go home.”

A foreign worker needs two documents to work legally in Canada. The first is a Labour Market Opinion (LMO) from Service Canada, which assesses whether a foreign worker is needed. The second is Citizenship and Immigration Canada, charged with processing the work permit application, which involves verifying the job as well as medical and criminal checks.

According to Service Canada, the average processing time for an LMO is up from 15 business days a year ago to 22 days — a figure that’s widely disputed.

Cobus Kriek, a Toronto-based immigration consultant, said it’s taking up to 12 weeks now to get an LMO for his clients.

“This is a massive crisis for both employers and workers,” said Kriek, who has had two work permit refusals on the basis that an LMO was not ready.

Kriek said foreign workers can continue working legally under what is known as “implied status” if their renewal application is filed before the work permit expires. But once the renewal has been refused, they’re not allowed to work. Employers have to submit a new application, at $150 per worker, hoping the LMO will come through on time, said Kriek.

A mining company in Alberta that employs more than 500 people complained it has taken 21 weeks to obtain a work permit for their foreign workers.

“We are in the process of completing major expansions, but we cannot get the foreign workers here fast enough,” the company, which asked not to be identified in this story, said in a letter to Immigration Minister Jason Kenney.

Immigration said it takes 40 days to process work permits with an existing employer, compared with 86 days a year ago.

“It is important that the employer applies for a new LMO before the expiration of their employee’s work permit,” said immigration spokesperson Nancy Caron.

“This is not a change in policy or procedure and would help to ensure that the LMO is issued in time for CIC to process the work permit application.”

But critics complain that Service Canada does not post the LMO processing time online and employers are unaware of the long delay.

Service Canada told the Star some regions tend to experience more delay due to the volume of applications. Other delays are caused by missing information — for instance, proof from the employer that the company has tried to recruit in Canada — or a failure to fully complete and sign the application.

Also, a more “rigorous LMO assessment process” has been in place since last April to improve the integrity of the program and better protect foreign workers from abuse. The department says it’s working on making better use of online services and a simplified application process to reduce delays.

Sukhjit Nagra, a consultant based in Delta, B.C., said her client, a high-skilled commercial carpenter, had his work permit expire early in November and has until the end of this month before he has to pack and return to India. A renewal application is in process but the LMO still hasn’t arrived.

“It is not just an inconvenience. His employer has taken on contracts based on this foreign worker being there to lead two other, lower-skilled Canadian workers,” said Nagra. “This is a problem. The employer is going to lose money. Our economy is going to lose money.”

Temporary foreign workers in Canada











19th January
written by John.Weir

Several east coast provinces will be in the UK in February, looking for skilled workers as labour shortages across Canada are beginning to bite.

As the worldwide demand for skilled labour heats up, provincial governments are increasingly looking outside Canada’s borders, competing with countries like Australia and New Zealand for desperately needed tradespeople, engineers and medical professionals. Nova Scotia has an ageing population, with the number of working age residents expected to decline by 47,000 over the next decade, and like many other provinces is deperate for skilled professionals to move there.

In 2011, Nova Scotia and a number of Atlantic provinces targeted workers to fill positions in IT, agriculture, engineering and trades.

Canada Live is at London, Edinburgh and Birmingham in February 2012.

7th January
written by John.Weir

Alberta has had it’s best year for jobs growth since 1997, say new statistics.

Alberta’s unemployment rate remained the lowest in the nation, decreasing slightly from five per cent in Nov. to 4.9 per cent in December. The growth in jobs has been driven by the energy industry, and in particular Alberta’s rich oil reserves. The main industries The main industries seeing growth in jobs include construction, health care, social assistance, and both the wholesale and retail trade.

The province’s low unemployment rate is great news for job hunters, but for many employers, it represents what may be the biggest looming threat to continued growth in 2012, as the competition — and the cost — to attract and retain skilled staff heats up.  During the last jobs boom in Alberta, there was a huge shortage of skilled labour, and to offset this, many companies will again look at bringing in skilled workers from the UK and elsewhere.

Looking for a job in Alberta ? Come to Canada Live in London, Birmingham and Edinburgh in 2012.

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