Government to play matchmaker for employers, skilled workers
Posted on December 28, 2014
Fill out a questionnaire, write a flattering description of yourself, post a profile and hope someone notices you. This is not the next big thing in online dating, but the way Canada will select its skilled workers starting Jan. 1.
Gone will be the days of long queues, when officials processed applications in the order received, leading to backlogs of a year or longer.
New applications will go into a pool from which employers and provinces can select candidates, who are then invited by the government to apply for permanent residence. Most applications will be processed within six months, Citizenship and Immigration Canada says.
Similar systems have been in place in New Zealand since 2003 and Australia since 2012. Here’s how the new system, called Express Entry, will work.
1. People who want to move to Canada as a skilled worker post a profile in the Express Entry pool. To do this they must meet the qualifications for either the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program, the Canadian Experience Class or a Provincial Nominee program. If the person has not already been offered a job or been selected by a province, they will also be required to register with Canada’s job bank. Express Entry will not apply to short-term programs for low-skilled workers, such as the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.
2. All candidates in the pool will be automatically assigned a numerical score and ranked based on their age, skills, education and experience. (Details about eligibility and ranking criteria under Express Entry are available here.) They will be able to edit their profile at any time. There will be two tiers of candidates in the pool: those who have a job offer or provincial nomination in hand, and those who do not.
3. The government will “draw” candidates from the pool roughly every two weeks based exclusively on numerical score. The cutoff will vary depending on the government’s immigration targets for skilled workers, but the lowest score to make the cutoff will be published each time. Those drawn from the pool will be invited to apply for permanent residence. Those who have job offers or who have been selected by a province will always be invited to apply. The first such draw will take place at the end of January. The government has committed to processing 80 per cent of permanent residence applications from those selected within six months.
Employers and provinces will be able to view profiles of job seekers though the Canada Job Bank or Express Entry. Employers will first have to obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment from the government as an assurance that there are no qualified Canadians available to fill the vacancy.
Reaction from groups in B.C. who represent employers has been largely positive.
“We seem to have, in a general sense, a lot of skilled people in the wrong place,” said John Winter, president and CEO of the BC Chamber of Commerce.
“We have demands coming from parts of the province and the country where there doesn’t seem to be the people that are in need,” he said Thursday, noting that demand for certain skill sets in B.C., especially in the trades, is likely to be project driven.
“The ability to get people in in a timely fashion to address the need has always been the problem and I think that’s why we sort of looked back at things like the temporary foreign worker program and others as a stopgap measure because there really were few, if any, other options available to employers.”
Richard Truscott, of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, called Express Entry a “very positive development” but lamented the fact that it is only available for highly skilled workers.
For more news and updates, assistance with your visa needs or for a Free Assessment of your profile for Immigration or Work Visa’s just visit www.y-axis.com