Two thirds of Canadian businesses surveyed hire talent from abroad
Canada works hard to position itself as an ideal home for the best and the brightest global talent across all industries.
The Business Council of Canada (BCC) recently released a report in which 80 Canadian businesses were surveyed about how they use Canada’s immigration programs to hire skilled workers. The businesses surveyed cumulatively employ over 1.6 million workers. Two thirds of companies surveyed say they recruit talent overseas using Canada’s immigration system. The remaining third hires immigrants who have already relocated to Canada.
Canada’s Immigration Levels Plan 2022-2024 looks to welcome over 450,000 new permanent residents per year by 2024. Canada offers a multitude of work permit and economic class immigration pathways.
According to the BCC survey, all employers agree that Canada’s labour shortage is widespread, and they face real difficulty finding skilled workers across all industries. Labour shortages are particularly pronounced in Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia.
Canada’s tech sector has been hit hardest by labour shortages as industry growth and demand is outpacing the number of skilled workers. Professions such as computer science, engineering and information tech are in high demand.
Only half of respondents agree that the Immigration Levels Plan for 2022-2024 is adequate to address their business needs and the growing labour shortages. The remaining half indicated that the number of economic immigrants needs to be increased but acknowledged that this is not practical until the government has a plan in place to ensure there is adequate housing and other infrastructure to support new immigrants, such as childcare and healthcare.
Employers also believe they have a role to play in helping immigrants settle. This can take the form of language training, assisting employees in obtaining recognition of foreign credentials and relocation assistance.
Canadian businesses expect that competition for skilled immigrants will intensify over the next few years. This is especially true of recent graduates who they say face significant barriers in obtaining permanent residency in Canada due to the time it takes to gain sufficient work experience.