24 September 2012

Canadian immigration minister advocates balanced approach

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has said a 'multi-pronged' approach is required to solve some of the country's current problems.

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Minister Kenney says Canadian immigration can help solve Canada's labour issues, but not alone.

As much as a third of Canada's workforce is set to retire within the next five years but with unemployment levels currently over a million, a paradoxical situation has arisen.

While much of the current population are struggling to find work, employers in regions such as Saskatchewan and Alberta are crying out for workers, offering substantial wages and even subsidised housing.

Proposed solutions to the predicament are currently split between importing more suitable works and organising the country's current workforce better; immigration minister Jason Kenney believes a twin pronged approach is required.

"This is a problem that is picking up momentum and is being reflected right across the spectrum, not just in the oil patch," said Mr Kenney. "We will not realise our full economic potential until we solve this paradox."

Mr Kenney has long since complained about the country's immigration system being incapable of responding to the country's economic needs. Several changes to the system have been made on the minister's orders in recent months including prioritising younger immigrants with language proficiencies.

"We have a slow and rigid immigration system that just drops people into the workforce to either sink or swim. That's why too many immigrants end up stuck in survival jobs as they try to get ahead."

Mr Kenney says while the new changes' eventual implementation, expected sometime next year, will alleviate some of the problems, other steps will also be needed, particularly to discourage people from taking disability allowances (Employment Insurance).

"We have to tell people that if there is paid work in your community at your skills level you should take that job before you take Employment Insurance."

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

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