24 November 2008

Charest using Canada's foreign students policy as campaign focus

Jean Charest, Premier of Quebec, was using Canada's plight for attracting foreign students to the country as his campaign's focus on Friday, reports The Canadian Press.

Charest promised, if his government is re-elected on December 8, that a major recruitment campaign to attract more of the world's best students to move to Canada would be a priority.

He also promised new measures to allow foreign graduates in Quebec to live and work in the province after their studies have completed; according to a Canadian Bureau for International Education study, only one-third of international graduates remain in Canada after their studies have completed despite the desperate need for skilled workers in the country. 

The study showed worse results for Quebec – less than ten per cent of foreign graduates remain behind to use their learnt skills and knowledge in the French-speaking province.  Each year, around 25,000 people study in Quebec on a Canadian student visa, and Charest sees the potential gained in harnessing this resource for the Canadian economy.

"In a few years, Quebec and Canada will be in strong competition with other developing countries to recruit qualified manpower," Charest said.

"We don't see it today but in five, six, seven, eight years, you'll see a real competition to get manpower to build our economy."

A report released by the Conference Board of Canada says the Canadian Immigration and Citizenship (CIC) would need to increase their migration programme by 110,000 places annually by 2025 if it is to meet its labour shortage, reports Thaindian News.

Each year, the CIC allows around 250,000 migrants enter the country permanently, with India and China being the biggest sources of immigrants.  However, the Conference Board of Canada, an independent research company, said this number would need to increase to 360,000 annually by 2025 for the Canadian economy to grow at a steady rate.

The Canadian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people apply for Canada visa and immigration services.

Article by Jessica Bird, Canadian Visa Bureau.

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