05 March 2012

Canadian immigration key to preventing labour shortages

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A conference at Calgary University concluded that the region's predicted labour shortage can be prevented by altering Canadian visa rules to allow more international students to remain in the country.

Canadian visa

Canadian businesses and universities are concered with growing labour shortages and believe immigration could be the answer.

Canadian immigration and its effect on staff requirements was the main topic of discussion at the university's business school and recommended that more international students should be allowed to stay.

"We have a labour shortage here in Canada and here in Alberta in particular," said Professor Eva Klein.

"We get a lot of temporary workers yet we have our own international students who have Canadian experience, a Canadian degree. Many of them if given a job would stay in Canada but many of them don't realise that the immigration laws and rules have changed.

"We're here to let them know they have change. They are welcome in Canada. They can get three year open working visas which will lead to permanent residency.

"We have employers who are hungry to give them jobs."

The University of Calgary reports that as many of 75% of its international students return home immediately after graduating and claims this is because of the difficulty of securing permanent residency status or a Canadian visa.

However, the university hopes that as the new rules begin to become more widely known, combined with the increasing labour shortage, more and more students will be inclined to remain in Canada.

A coalition of Alberta's businesses launched recently with the intention of encouraging the Canadian government to address the looming labour shortage in Western Canada. The Alberta Coalition for Action on Labour Shortages (ACALS) predicted that there would be a labour gap of 114,000 positions within the next few years.

Alberta's minister of advanced education and technology, Greg Weadick, urged as many students as possible to remain in Canada to address this urgent issue.

"We want you to stay in Alberta when you finish your education. We need you to keep growing in this province," said Mr Weadick.

"Opportunities in Alberta are abundant. We're looking for talent across all disciplines."

The Canadian Visa Bureau is an independent migration consultancy specialising in helping people make their application to the Canadian Embassy.

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