• Monday, June 17, 2024
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Canada woos caregivers with permanent residency on arrival

Canada woos caregivers with permanent residency on arrival

As the current Home Child Care Provider Pilot and Home Support Worker Pilot programmes near their expiration dates, Canada has announced new, improved carer pilot programmes targeting migrants in all countries including Nigeria.

The current pilot programmes are scheduled to end on June 17. Instead of requiring a specific amount of work experience in Canada, the new pilot programmes will award home care professionals with permanent residence status upon arrival.

Additionally, they will be allowed to work for “organisations that provide temporary or part-time care for individuals who are recovering from an illness or injury or who are semi-independent.”

The 2024–2026 Immigration Levels Plan states that Canada anticipates accepting over 15,000 new permanent residents through carer programmes. As of April 30, 2024, about 5,700 carers and their families had obtained permanent residency following the start of the Home Support Worker and Home Child Care Provider Pilots in 2019.

Read also: Canada restores citizenship rights to “lost Canadians”

As the population ages, there is an increasing need for carers in Canada. More than 9 million Canadians are anticipated to retire over the next six years. This implies that more people will require greater care in their homes or institutions during the next years.

To qualify, carers must: achieve the Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) minimum of level 4, possess the equivalent of a high school diploma from Canada, have recent, relevant job experience, and obtain a full-time home care employment offer.

The requirements of the former pilot programmes, which included a CLB of 5 and a year of post-secondary education in Canada (or an equivalent programme abroad), have been replaced by this new set of criteria. A minimum of six months of work experience was also required for the programmes. The work experience criterion for the new pilot programmes has not yet been made explicit by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), although it is expected to be disclosed closer to the official launch.

Immigration Minister Marc Miller stated in an IRCC press release that “Caregivers play a critical role in supporting Canadian families, and our programs need to reflect their invaluable contributions. As we work to implement a permanent caregivers program, these two new pilots will not only improve support for caregivers but also provide families with the quality care they deserve.”

Read also: International students will be allowed to work 24 hours a week — Canada Immigration Minister

In addition, a recent report from the Canadian Centre for Caregiving Excellence outlines urgent requirements for Canadian carers. It mentions that “many caregivers are 65+ and may also need care. Nearly one in five caregivers are over the age of 65. Senior caregivers are least likely to access any services or supports to help with their responsibilities.”

Lastly, as more women, who have historically taken on more of the caregiving responsibilities for small children, attempt to enter the workforce, families in Canada need childcare providers. Data from 2023 Statistics Canada has revealed.

“On an annual basis, the labour force participation rate for women aged 15 years and older and all education levels grew from 58.5% in 1990 (the beginning of the current data series) to 61.5% in 2022. The rate for men declined from 76.1% to 69.5% over the same period.”