Minister Kenney Meets With Employers in Saskatoon

The Centre Block on Parliament Hill, containin...
The Centre Block on Parliament Hill, containing the houses of the Canadian parliament (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

SASKATOON, SASKATCHEWAN, Apr 11, 2012 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) -- The Government of Canada is strengthening its partnership with employers to ensure the economic immigration program better meets the needs of Canada's economy, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced today at a roundtable discussion with Saskatoon employers.
The Government is building a fast and flexible economic immigration system that focuses on finding people who have the skills and experience required to meet Canada's economic needs. The development and delivery of a modernized, efficient economic program will rely on partner engagement and - in particular - a greater role for employers. The Government is working to better understand employers' challenges, their workforce planning, hiring and recruitment practices, and the circumstances in which they use the immigration system. Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) also wants to hear from employers in specific areas where changes are proposed to its programs.
"Economic growth and job creation remain the top priorities for our Government," said Minister Kenney. "Labour shortages are becoming a growing problem in many regions, and this is particularly true in this part of the country. Our Government wants to make it easier for employers to hire permanent or temporary foreign workers when no Canadians are able to fill a position, and we want to involve employers in immigrant selection."
Today's roundtable is part of a series of meetings to consult with employers - who have first-hand knowledge of the economic impacts of Canada's immigration policies - on how they can be more involved in immigrant selection, and to update them on work the Department has under way. Previous sessions with senior CIC officials have taken place in Halifax, Vancouver, Ottawa, Montreal, St. John's and southern Saskatchewan. Minister Kenney will also meet with employers in Halifax next week.
The Government has already undertaken some initiatives to make the immigration system more responsive to the needs of employers. For instance, the Department processes federal skilled worker applications with a qualifying job offer on a priority basis. CIC also recently redesigned its website to include a new section to guide employers to the most suitable programs for hiring permanent and temporary foreign workers. The new section of the website builds on the success of other online tools for employers, such as the Employer's Roadmap.
"We want to go from a passive immigration system to an active system where Canadian employers are actively recruiting people in the international labour market from abroad," said Minister Kenney.
During the meeting, Minister Kenney also outlined several important Economic Action Plan 2012 commitments to the immigration system. These include:
        --  Realigning the Temporary Foreign Worker Program to better meet labour
            market demands;
        --  Supporting further improvements to foreign credential recognition and
            identifying the next set of target occupations beyond 2012;
        --  Moving to an increasingly fast and flexible immigration system where
            priority focus is on meeting Canada's labour market needs; and
        --  Returning applications and fees to certain federal skilled worker
            applicants who have been waiting for processing to be completed.

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