Canada seeks 500k high-skilled immigrants to fill labour shortages

The government of Canada is seeking to attract 500,000 highly-skilled immigrants by 2025 in a bid to tackle labour shortages in a new immigration plan issued Tuesday.

The plan tagged ‘Canada’s 2023–2025 immigration Levels’ embraces immigration as a strategy to help businesses find workers and to attract the skills required in key sectors including health care, skilled trades, manufacturing, and technology to manage the social and economic challenges Canada will face in the decades ahead.

The Canadian economy has experienced one of the fastest recoveries from COVID-19 among advanced economies but is now facing critical labour market shortages causing uncertainty for Canadian businesses and workers, the government said in a release.

It seeks to attract newcomers from different countries to different regions of the country, including small towns and rural communities.

“The Government is continuing that ambition by setting targets in the new levels plan of 465,000 permanent residents in 2023, 485,000 in 2024 and 500,000 in 2025.”

Last year Canada welcomed over 405,000 newcomers, the most it has ever welcomed in a single year.

“This year’s immigration levels plan will help businesses find the workers they need set Canada on a path that will contribute to our long-term success, and allow us to make good on key commitments to vulnerable people fleeing violence, war, and persecution,” said Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, said the statement.

The highlights of the levels plan include a long-term focus on economic growth, with over 60 percent of admissions in the economic class by 2025, reuniting more families faster, and ensuring that at least 4.4 percent of new permanent residents outside Quebec are Francophone

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Other are new features in the Express Entry system to welcome newcomers with the required skills and qualifications in sectors facing acute labour shortages such as, health care, manufacturing, building trades and STEM and support for global crises by providing a safe haven to those facing persecution, including by expanding the Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot.

Over the past few years, Canada has become one of the top countries where Nigerians have been migrating to. Data from the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada the number of Nigerian students studying in Canada hit a record high to 13, 745 in 2021 from 10,555 in 2020.