A recent study has found that Atlantic Canada is facing a scarcity of immigrant workers and many employers in the region are finding it difficult to hire candidates with necessary skills and experience. The study report was published by The Harris Centre at Memorial University in Newfoundland titled ‘Employer Attitudes Towards Hiring Newcomers and International Students in the Atlantic Provinces’. The aim of the study was to better understand the challenges involved in newcomer integration in Atlantic Canada’s labour market with reference to employers’ attitudes and perceptions.
The study found that more than half of the employers in Atlantic Canada, who received job applications from immigrants and international students, have hired them. Besides, 88 percent of the employers said that their experience with immigrant workers was positive. They found international workers hard-working, skilled and reliable. This shows that employers here are keen to hire immigrants.
Atlantic Canada needs more immigrants
Atlantic Canada is facing a severe population crisis with low fertility rates and an aging population. In this context, the governments and employers are taking serious efforts to attract more immigrants to the region.
In 2010, the percentage of newcomers who settled in Atlantic Canada was 3 per cent. In 2016, it was increased to 5 per cent. The next year, in 2017, Canada government introduced the Atlantic Immigration Pilot (AIP). The Program led to an unprecedented increase in immigration to this region. Immigration increased by 22 per cent in 2018 and to 26 per cent in 2019.
The study has made certain recommendations to attract more immigrants to Atlantic Canada and integrate them to labour market. One recommendation is to devise immigration policies to meet the needs of employers here. Another one is to align the immigration policies to fill the labour needs of the province.
The study also recommends introducing intercultural training for employers and immigrants, which will make communications at the workplace easier. The employers who took part in the study also called for more lenient policies with regard to spousal employment, children’s education, affordable housing and accessible healthcare.