One of Canada’s greatest competitive advantages is the country’s ability to draw immigrants from around the world. Foreign workers and immigrants not only add to Canada’s social and cultural diversity but also bring knowledge, skills, and experience that boost the economy.
The Business Council of Canada (BCC) recently released a report that explains the importance of immigration to companies and Canada’s economy. The report data is based on a survey from BCC’s 80 member companies that intend to maximize the Canada’s immigration program usage.
These companies employ about 1,650,000 Canadians across more than 20 different industries. Overall, bringing in about $1.2 trillion in revenue in 2020.
Nearly two-third of the companies reported active hiring workers through the immigration system. The remaining companies employ immigrants who have already settled in Canada. Moreover, two-thirds of employers who already utilize the immigration system anticipate increasing their usage during the next three years.
Employers depend on the immigration system to support a range of business needs, from fostering business development to boosting the diversity of their workforces. But, most importantly, immigration helps them fill open positions that otherwise would remain vacant. Four of five employers said they use the immigration system to alleviate labour shortages.
Further, employers rely most on Federal Skilled Worker Program and the Global Talent Stream, designed to draw in highly skilled workers. Moreover, employers claim that immigrants contribute significantly to their businesses. They added that the immigrants they hire often have both technical and interpersonal abilities.
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Employers recognise that immigrants face challenges adjusting to their new environment and are dedicated to helping them succeed. They are willing to provide funding for community-based groups for settlement and offer language and cultural support. In addition, assist personnel who have received training abroad to recognise their credentials.
About 50% of the employers participating in the survey favoured raising Canada’s annual admission targets, particularly for economic-class immigrants. Additionally, employers suggested higher immigration levels should accompany increased spending on domestic workers, daycare, housing, and public transit.
Despite their general approval of the immigration system, survey participants believe it could be improved to meet Canada’s economic requirements. For example, fewer than a quarter of respondents said the immigration system meets their business needs well. However, most are frustrated by long wait times for application processing, complicated restrictions, and the cost of navigating the system.
The increasing competition for international talent makes these issues more urgent. Canadian employers agree that competition would undoubtedly worsen globally as other countries increase their efforts to attract skilled workers. For more details, visit BCC’s official report.