More skilled immigrants coming to Newfoundland and Labrador
Posted on January 8, 2015
Skilled immigrants are coming to Newfoundland and Labrador for work in much larger numbers, and the provincial government wants them to stay. The question is: can they be convinced?
Seven years ago, the average number of skilled immigrants coming to this province was 450. That number has since doubled, with the number expected to top 1,000 this year. The provincial government is crediting an extra emphasis on recruitment.
“People around the world are looking at Newfoundland and Labrador as a place to live, not only because of the job that they can avail of, and the good wages they can avail of, but also our culture,” said Advanced Education and Skills Minister Kevin O’Brien. “That’s very attractive to people as well because people are trying to find safe places in the world to live.”
Most immigrants live in St. John’s area
O’Brien said this province has one of the hottest economies in Canada right now, which is also an incentive. Of immigrants sponsored through the Provincial Nominee Program, 54 per cent live in the St. John’s metropolitan area and 46 per cent live throughout the rest of the province.
“The province’s labour market landscape has changed dramatically and more than ever before, employers are challenged to find the skilled workers they need for hard-to-fill positions.”- Kevin O’Brien
Some 80 per cent of immigrants in this province are nominated under the skilled worker category and 20 per cent are nominated under the international graduate category. “The province’s labour market landscape has changed dramatically, and more than ever before employers are challenged to find the skilled workers they need for hard-to-fill positions,” O’Brien explained.
“Immigration has significantly helped employers meet evolving labour market needs. The attraction and retention of workers and their families from outside of Canada, who have the skills and experience to contribute to the economy, are important components of this government’s workforce development agenda.”
The government has been selling itself at immigration job fairs in countries such as Ireland and France, he added. Many of the skilled workers coming to this province have expertise in mining and oil and gas, but those industries are on a downswing.
O’Brien, however, is not worried. The province has an aging population, and skilled workers will be needed to replace people leaving the workforce, he noted.