Four provinces in Atlantic Canada are doing everything they can to attract skilled workers from overseas, as local governments try to confront the realities of an aging workforce and sagging economy.
The provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, and Labrador are aggressively pursuing a combined goal of attracting up to 2,000 primary immigrant applicants and their families by the end of this year.
By 2020, the annual influx of immigrants is targeted to rise to 4,000 in the Atlantic Canada region.
Together, these provinces have launched a program called Atlantic Immigration Pilot, under which applicants need a job offer and must meet the requirements for work experience and English proficiency.
With governments relying heavily on foreigners to create jobs and boost the economy, immigration to Canada is set to increase over the next three years to 340,000 people a year by 2020. In fact, the federal government wants to bring in 310,000 new permanent residents in 2018, 330,000 in 2019, and 340,000 in 2020.
Some provinces in Canada are focusing mainly on attracting technology talent from abroad. British Columbia, for example, has been running a program called TechPilot, designed to expand the province’s technology talent pool and satisfy the demand for tech talent.
Officials are repeatedly citing immigration as necessary for the Canadian economy to remain competitive.
According to Statistics Canada projections, the proportion of working-age members of the population will continue to decline until 2036, by which point the number of seniors in the country will likely be more than double the figure in 2009.