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Job crucial for helping expats settle in Canada, report suggests

by RAY CLANCY 

Having a job already arranged before moving to Canada helps expats to settle in better, a new report suggests.
A new evaluation has found that those arriving under the skilled worker programme are effectively contributing to Canada’s economy and are more likely to succeed.
It found that the biggest predictors of a newcomer’s economic success are having a job arranged, being able to speak English or French and having worked in Canada before. But having studied in Canada before for at least two years or having a relative in Canada were less important.
‘The evaluation showed that skilled immigrants are doing well in Canada and filling gaps in our work force. This puts some dents in the doctors-driving-taxis stereotype,’ said Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Jason Kenney.
The report also indicates that the selection criteria for a Canadian visa put in place when the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) became law have been successful in improving the outcomes of skilled immigrants by placing more emphasis on arranged employment, language and education.
The report also shows that skilled workers who already had a job offer when they applied for permanent residence earned an average of $79,200 three years after arriving, up to 65% higher than before the IRPA became law. The findings also showed skilled workers were less likely to rely on employment insurance or social assistance since the new laws were introduced.
Among other recommendations, the evaluation suggests placing higher priority on younger workers and increasing the integrity of the arranged employment part of the programme, which is susceptible to fraud.
The evaluation also recommended that further emphasis be placed on fluency in English or French, and supported the Minister’s June 2010 decision to require language testing for federal skilled worker applicants to combat fraud.
The next step for the Canadian immigration department will be to introduce a range of new proposals for public consultation in an effort to further improve the system, according to Kenney. ‘We’re committed to making it even better and will be consulting on improvements in the coming weeks,’ he said.



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