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Going to Live and Work in Canada as a Skilled Migrant: Update

A map of Canada exhibiting its ten provinces a...Image via WikipediaIf you’re thinking about starting a new life in Canada, and you’re going to apply for a visa as a skilled migrant, the latest news from the jobs market and immigration department will be of interest and use to you

If you’ve decided that 2011 is the year you finally turn your dreams of relocating abroad into reality, and Canada is your destination of choice, this update on the jobs market, employment landscape and changes to immigration rules in Canada is for you.

As a skilled migrant hoping to move to live, work and start a new life in Canada, it’s imperative that you keep abreast of any changes that could impact on you.  As we all know, Canada’s economy has faired far better than America’s or Great Britain’s over the past few years, but the latest job statistics show that some employment sectors are cutting workers.
Depending on your skill set and where you want to work in Canada, it may be time for you to speed up your visa application and get moving before job opportunities dry up.  Alternatively, if you’re hoping to work in some regulated professions in Canada, there is good news relating to skill matching and international qualifications recognition.
The unemployment rate in Canada in December held steady at 7.6% - but if you look much more closely at the statistics, you can see some notable developments.  For example, the construction sector seems to be constricting, which is not good news if you’re a skilled migrant potentially planning on working in the construction trade.
To date Canada’s property market has been relatively steady compared to our own for example, but a sharp downturn in numbers employed in the construction industry in December 2010 suggests that this sector could be weakening.  27,000 jobs were lost in this sector alone at the end of 2010, and the number of new starts was down.
Other sectors that saw a decline in numbers included healthcare and social assistance, wholesale and retail trade, business building and agriculture – although this may be a seasonal downshift.
The good news in terms of increasing jobs numbers and employed persons is to be found in the following sectors however: - manufacturing, transportation, warehousing and natural resources – and there has been a really marked increase in the numbers of Canadians working in private sector jobs.  The public sector has held steady in terms of the number of employed persons, and there was a fall back in terms of the numbers of self-employed in Canada.
Employment has increased most notably in Quebec, Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador.
In terms of other positive marked changes to make note of, there has been a steady increase in the numbers of both young people and those over 55 who are in paid employment.  Therefore, no matter what age you’re at, you should not face any discrimination based on your date of birth!
Reviewing employment figures along with certain immigration statistics recently resulted in Canada Statistics revealing that there is a strong and disappointing mismatch between skilled migrants’ qualifications and professional training, and the jobs they end up doing once they move to live in Canada.
The delivery of the report has proved very positive however, as it has led the authorities to make some key changes.  Canada Immigration is now beginning to implement a fast track system of recognising foreign professional qualifications and credentials to knock down the barriers many professionals face when trying to get work in their sector in Canada.
So, whether you’re a doctor, a dentist, a teacher or a lawyer, in future your professional accreditation should be recognised in Canada, allowing you a smoother path into work in your chosen sector.
According to Canada Immigration: “The first group of occupations, which includes accountants, medical laboratory technicians, occupational therapists and pharmacists, will get access to the programme by the end of the year with the remainder of the professions such as doctors, engineering technicians, nurses and teachers having access by the end of 2012.”
All in all, by the end of this fast track scheme’s implementation at the end of next year, 15 occupations will be evaluated under the system.
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