What is Canada’s Global Skills Strategy all about? Read on

By: Jack Xu

Overview of the promising Global Skills Strategy for Canada…

“Our future success is largely driven by attracting talented people from around the world.  Our diversity not only brings its own economic and social rewards, but with Canada’s aging population, having a robust, effective, and efficient system is critical to our long-term economic growth.” 

Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau

New Global Skills Strategy

Justin Trudeau’s new immigration reforms, dubbed the Global Skills Strategy, are being operationalised to take effect within the next 12 to 24 months.  Its key objectives are:

  • Attracting global investment and global talent
  • Retaining global talent

What will this look like?

On the Employee Side

As of February 17, 2016, three new exemptions have been introduced under the International Mobility Program.  Simply put, these individuals will not have to go through the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

LMIA Exemptions

The following three exemptions are for:

  • Foreign nationals who work in television or film production
  • Key creative personnel in performing arts
  • Francophones who are from high-skilled occupations (National Occupation Classification Skills A, B and O) and bound for a Province other than Quebec

Faster processing, less red tape

Low risk, highly skilled temporary workers will have their visa and work permit applications processed within two weeks of the LMIA approval.

No work permits for “low risk to Canadian labour market” work

No work permits will be required for foreign nationals engaged to do work for a very short duration (less than 30 days) and additionally, where it is for a short duration and is in low-risk fields (academic research).

On the Employer Side

Support for Innovative high-growth Canadian and foreign companies

The government will step up for international companies relocating here including providing them with LMIA exemptions to ease their transition.

A Dedicated Service Channel with the Temporary Foreign Worker Program

The most welcome change of all is the introduction of the Labour Market Benefit Plan (LMBP) for those companies that demonstrate labour market benefits by way of new investments, knowledge transfer and job creation.

While the LMIA is necessary, getting one is as difficult as having a camel go through the eye of a needle.  On several occasions, our perfectly qualified personnel have been rejected by the LMIA process, where we tried to extend their work permits after their post-graduate permits had expired.  Essentially, it favors large corporations and does not give dynamic small and medium businesses, which are not trying to game the system, a break.

The government may have read my mind by introducing the LMBP.  My hope is that it is less rigid and takes into account all the circumstances in a particular case – such as the employer’s growth, the positions it has created annually, its contribution to society by way of innovative practices and its investment in time, effort, and money into all its staff.  Time will tell.

But all in all, promising..

-Latha Sukumar, Executive Director