Canada aims to diversify markets in new education strategy

Canada has launched an updated International Education Strategy, focusing on expanding new student markets, supporting industries in Canada and increasing the outbound mobility of Canadian students.
Under the International Education Strategy 2019-2024, CAN$147.9 million has been allocated to increase the attractiveness of Canada through promotion, new markets, scholarships and smoother visa processing, as well as to boost the ratio of Canadians studying overseas.
Introducing the strategy last week, Minister of International Trade Diversification, Jim Carr, said, “Our government is ensuring that Canadian businesses have the talent they need to compete internationally, so they can create good jobs right here at home. Canada is a leader in international education, and our new strategy will strengthen our trade diversification efforts, boost our innovation capacity, promote closer people-to-people ties and foster a vibrant Canadian economy.”
Canada is aiming to diversify markets with its new International Education Strategy.
The Canadian government said that China and India currently constitute half of all international students in Canada, and that it was necessary to diversify and reduce dependence on these two source countries.
A CAN$24.1 million digital marketing strategy has been planned to recruit more international students from a wider pool of countries and to “address regional and demographic gaps” in Canada.
The initial target countries for the campaign are: Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Morocco, Turkey, France and the Ukraine. The government said that it will adjust the scope of target countries regularly, based on the needs of provinces, associations, institutions and statistical analysis.
With regards to China and India, the focus will be on in-country diversification to attract students from different regions and to different levels of study. The government said the campaign would raise the profile of regions, French language programmes and courses that traditionally attract fewer international students.
The government will build on the EduCanada brand, and that the Trade Commissioner Service will intensity its efforts with better training for commissioners on promoting Canada’s education sector, more international recruitment fairs and a larger Canadian presence at signature international events in the sector.
A further CAN$1 million has been allocated to expanding the Student Direct Stream, an expedited visa service that Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) currently operates in China, Vietnam, India, the Philippines and will soon commence in Pakistan.
Other elements of the strategy to support the promotion of Canada as a study destination include CAN$5 million of funding for additional scholarships for international students, and a CAN$18 million project to modernise immigration forms and processes.
The distribution of study permit holders in Canada in 2018. Source - Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
The Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE) said in a statement, “CBIE is pleased that the strategy will continue to build on making Canada a top destination for learning by diversifying the countries from which students come to Canada, improving immigration processes and increasing support to Canadian education institutions to grow their partnership opportunities abroad.”
Photo - Johny Goerend. Main pic - Scott Webb. Both
Across all educational levels, there were a record 720,000 international students in Canada in 2018, according to Minister Carr, providing a contribution of CAN$21.6 billion to the economy.
Another major element of the updated strategy is to increase the number of Canadian students heading overseas, including through an Outbound Student Mobility pilot which will provide scholarships of between CAN$5,000 and CAN$10,000 for up to 11,000 students to study or work abroad, with half of the funding allocated to underrepresented groups.
Welcoming the focus on outbound mobility, Paul Davidson, President of Universities Canada, said, “Study abroad changes lives. The new Outbound Student Mobility pilot is significant news for young Canadians, and for Canada.
"Canada’s universities look forward to working with our partners in government and the higher education sector to enable more students, from all backgrounds, to participate in global mobility experiences.”
At the time of writing, CAN$1 = US$0.76.

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How to Connect with Employers in Canada

by Jodi Tingling

In a recent webinar, we discussed job search strategies with ACCES Employment and Seneca College to explore the approaches job seekers should use to successfully connect with prospective employers. We addressed such issues as penetrating the hidden job market and establishing relationships with employers by using effective communication strategies.
On average, up to 80 percent of jobs are not advertised—these jobs make up the hidden job market. Employers find candidates through referrals from current employees, colleagues, friends, and family—in other words, through their networks. They do not limit themselves to job ads.
How can you get into the hidden job market if the positions are not advertised? Consider using the strategies outlined below.


Networking is an interpersonal process that leads to the mutual exchange of information, contacts, or leads—and it is no secret that it is critical to job hunting. Networking is one of the most effective ways to learn about employment opportunities that are not advertised. Asking those in your network for advice or information on how to get into a specific industry can boost your chances of getting the help you need to take the next steps in your career.
People typically develop their networks through “warm contacts”—those whom they already know—or through cold contacts—those they do not. You can extend your network through warm contacts such as former professional colleagues and supervisors, but do not overlook your relatives, friends, and other people who are part of your daily life. Networking with cold contacts, however, requires more effort.
Immigrant professionals who are new to the country may find it difficult to extend or even establish a network, since many if not most of their contacts will be “cold.” There are programs and supports that can help. For example, ACCES Employment offers many services, including speed mentoring events, that help internationally educated professionals succeed in their job search. Seneca College Bridging Programs also provide sector-specific networking opportunities.
You may want to engage in other networking efforts as well:
  • Attend job fairs to directly connect with employers.
  • Join a professional association to establish connections in your field.
  • Attend industry conferences.
  • Volunteer or participate in community events.

When you engage in these network activities, make sure you have a clear objective and plan, and understand whom you want to connect with and why. Initiate a natural conversation, and maintain a two-way dialogue—do not monopolize the conversation. Finally, ask questions that can help you with your employment goal.

Company Research

Make a list of companies you are interested in and begin researching them. Find out what they do, if their values align with yours if they have employment opportunities, and who is responsible for hiring. Begin your research with a general internet search; then connect with an employer through a professional networking site like LinkedIn.

Cold Contacting

When establishing cold contacts, start with a personal introduction. Follow this up with the reason you are connecting and, if possible, ask for an informational interview. Here are some important tips for succeeding when cold contacting:
  • Have an idea of what you want to say, but listen more than you talk.
  • Get to know people for who they are—not just their professions.
  • Follow up on the leads you generate.

Informational Interviews

An informational interview is a brief meeting that allows you to gather information about employment opportunities, a particular industry, or a particular employer. It is initiated by the job seeker and can provide job leads as well as new networking contacts.
Be specific about your goals when asking for an informational interview. For example, you can ask about the steps the person you are meeting with took to get into their current role. If the informational interview is with a hiring manager, you can ask what qualifications, skills, and experiences the company seeks in prospective hires. Be mindful of the person’s time, and be sure to send a thank-you email afterward. Follow up with any action items discussed during the meeting.

Communication Strategies When Connecting With Employers

Beyond understanding how to connect with employers, it is important to focus on communication skills. Communication is more than just the verbal exchange of information. It can also occur non-verbally, through wordless cues, gestures, or body language.

Non-Verbal Communication Strategies

When connecting with employers, your appearance matters. Make sure you make a good first impression by being neat, appropriately dressed, well-groomed, and polished.
In North American culture, eye contact is important. It conveys confidence and openness. Look directly into the eyes of the person you are conversing with, without staring. Maintain a pleasant facial expression—which can include a smile to show that you are friendly and approachable.
Pay attention to how close you stand next to the persons you talk to—take note of the distance between individuals as you see it at conferences and in other professional settings. Your body language, gestures, and posture should also reflect your professional appearance. Remaining upright with your shoulders relaxed can also indicate confidence and professionalism.

Verbal Communication Strategies

Verbal communication refers to both speaking and writing. When speaking with employers, be sure to have a clear idea of what you want to say, even if that means committing part of it to memory. Listen attentively, and paraphrase your speaker’s words as appropriate.
When communicating in writing, make every effort to be clear. Review your message before sending it to make sure there are no grammatical or spelling errors. It is also a good idea to have a friend review it. If you are wondering what to say to a cold contact, you can introduce yourself and mention a mutual interest or connection. Also, be sure to have a specific request in mind, and be ready to offer something in return.
Mastering networking and communication strategies will help you connect with employers and increase your chances of tapping into the hidden job market and succeeding in your job search.

Source: WES

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  1. Consider how a credential evaluation might help you fulfill your academic and career goals.
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  1. Once your report is complete, consider getting a WES Digital Badge. This is a useful way to tell potential employers about your accomplishments and display verified results.
  1. Order extra copies, so you will have duplicates of your report available for all of your lifetime needs.
  1. In fact, you should learn about the lifetime value of credential evaluation, so you can make the most of your investment long after you settle in the U.S. or Canada.
  1. Use the WES Help Center to find answers to any other questions you might have about your credential evaluation.
  1. Follow the WES Advisor Blog for more great advice to guide you through the evaluation process.
  1. Read free e-guides with comprehensive advice on immigration, higher education, and credential evaluations.
  1. Watch free webinars for expert advice on immigrating to the U.S. and Canada.


  1. Get an idea of your potential GPA equivalency by using this free tool: iGPA Calculator.
  1. Compare the colleges and universities in the country where you will be studying.
  1. Before committing, you can try international learning through a summertime study abroad program.
  1. Explore opportunities to fund your education in Canada.
  1. Make sure your college application is filled out correctly and makes you a competitive candidate.
  1. You will want to be completely prepared for your Study visa interview!
  1. Find out what health insurance is available to international students.
  1. Learn how you can expand your comfort zone to make new friends in North America.
  1. Contact your school to see if they require a credential evaluation and whether they have a preferred company for supplying this degree equivalency report.
  1. Use the Scholarship Finder to help you find financial aid and other opportunities to pay for school.
Souce: WES


  1. Find out what you can add to today’s skills-based economy in North America. How can you continue to be a valuable asset to your company in the long-term?
  1. It never hurts to continue your professional development. Start by honestly assessing your current job skills. If necessary, seek additional training to make you a more valuable employee.
  1. Learn how to market your international education. Employers typically take less than 20 seconds to review your application for employment. Make the decision to hire you as easy as possible.
  1. You should also read about what North American employers seek in a top candidate.
  1. When entering negotiations about your position, do not forget to mention your credential evaluation and overseas training. This can help you secure a higher salary.
  1. Find out if you have the skills and training necessary to excel in a technologically advanced workplace. How can you demonstrate those skills in a profitable way?
  1. Volunteering is a fantastic way to make connections in your community, expand your professional network, and gain access to free training and development opportunities.
  1. Networking, in general, is a sure way to promote your skills, build your confidence, and grow your resources.
  1. You should also focus on networking with your own colleagues. Focus on developing interpersonal skills and utilizing strong communication habits at work.
  1. Once you have a good job, always consider your next steps. Prepare to take your career to the next level.

Top ten tips for people immigrating to Canada.

  1. Work on improving your Express Entry score before applying for permanent residency in Canada.
  1. Take a practice test for the International English Language Testing Exam (IELTS) to see if you need to work on your English before immigrating to Canada.
  1. There are also several provinces where it will benefit you to brush up on your French.
  1. Canada is made up of 10 provinces and three territories—each with its own immigration policies. Learn about the differences, and which factors might influence where you live and work in Canada.
  1. Ask Canadian friends to help improve your communication skills. Build your confidence by practicing with others and receiving feedback. This can help you communicate in a culturally appropriate way.
  1. Networking will also help you adjust once you move to Canada. Here is some great advice about how to meet people, make connections, and develop your social skills.
  1. Stay ahead of the labor market: Learn about your career prospects in Canada.
  1. Consider taking online courses to make you more eligible for jobs. Studying online can be a cheaper and more flexible option for people who are working while they continue to develop their skills.
  1. You probably want to open a bank account and start building credit right away. 
  1. Learn about Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) opportunities to help you decide where to settle.
Source: WES

Quick Immigration Updates: Canada Is Hiring Tech-Savvy Immigrants

by WES Advisor

Ontario’s First Tech Draw

The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program has started doing “Tech Draws.” This is a unique opportunity for people with technology backgrounds to qualify for permanent residency, even if they might not otherwise meet the scoring cutoff for federal immigration draws. Candidates are evaluated for at least one year of experience in six tech-related fields.
The Tech Draws are intended to identify qualified immigrants that meet the growing labor needs of the province’s technology market. Applicants with overall CRS scores as low as 439 qualified for the program in July. In total, Ontario’s Tech Draw invited more than 1,600 Express Entry candidates to apply for the Provincial Nominee Program.

Agri-Food Pathway for Migrant Workers

In addition to technology, a new pathway to the permanent residence has opened up for migrant workers with agri-food experience. A three-year pilot program is intended to help grow the local economies and create jobs for Canadians. It caps the applicant pool at 2,750 each year, including family members. However, the program could welcome over 16,000 new permanent residents to Canada in total.

Fewer Irregular Migrant Crossings to Canada

Irregular migrant crossings into Canada are down by 38 percent in the first half of 2019, compared to the same period in 2018. Since June 2019, a total of 6,707 asylum-seekers have come irregularly into Canada. However, there was a slight increase during the month of June that has conservative border critics concerned that irregular border crossings may be rising in the second half of 2019.

Quebec’s International Student Program Is Suspended

The Quebec Experience Program has been temporarily suspended, leaving many international students uncertain of their future in Canada. As an express immigration process for recent graduates, it has left many scholars without options for permanent residence or employment. The program may resume in November.

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