Canada’s economy is showing signs of strength and growth, yet employers are facing continued skilled worker labour shortages. On June 20, Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Ahmed Hussen discussed the benefits of accepting more skilled and educated refugees with employable skills and opening Canada’s economic immigration streams to refugees.
Statistics Canada 1st Quarter 2019
The Canadian economy showed signs of strength in May as it added 27,700 jobs and the unemployment rate fell to its lowest level since comparable data become available in 1976.
– The Star
At the same time, Canadian employers are facing labour shortages for skilled workers due to an aging population and the increasing number of Canadians who are reaching retirement age. Statistics Canada reported:
- over 500,000 jobs went unfilled across Canada in the 1st three months of 2019
- nearly 80% of the unfilled jobs were for permanent positions
- 1st quarter of 2019, Canada had 506,000 job vacancies – an increase of over 44,000 vacancies from the 1st quarter of 2018
The Economic Mobility Pathways Project (EMPP)
In partnership with Talent Beyond Boundaries, RefugePoint and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), EMPP is a pilot project to evaluate whether skilled refugees in Kenya and the Middle East can access Canada’s economic immigration programs. Through the EMPP, eligible skilled refugees registered with the UNHCR are referred to Manitoba, Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and the Yukon for consideration for a provincial nomination (PNP) for permanent residence based on local labour needs.
More Economic Refugees
While few refugees have immigrated to Canada through the EMPP, on World Refugee Day Hussen said he would like to see more economic refugee immigrants and for the program to grow “massively:”
“Instead of thinking of refugees as people who just want resettlement and people who are passive recipients of aid, how about re-imagining refugees as people who have assets to contribute, who have talents and skills that we need in Canada?”
It can be helpful to consult an experienced immigration and refugee lawyer to evaluate your unique case and advise you on the best option for your case.