The province of Saskatchewan will launch a new immigration stream named the Hard-To-Fill Skills Pilot in December, with an aim to allow employers in Saskatchewan to recruit foreign workers for certain in-demand occupations. The jobs eligible under this Stream will be entry-level positions that may require on-the-job training. It is expected that the new stream will benefit those sectors in Saskatchewan that have the highest demand for labour, including health, manufacturing, agriculture, ag-tech, construction, hospitality and retail.
Saskatchewan’s Minister for Immigration and Career Training Jeremy Harrison said in a media release that the demand for labour in the province is about to increase further with new economic projects coming up. In this context, the new Stream is expected to provide Saskatchewan employers with greater access to international options for recruiting workers. Besides, the province has also announced making record investments into training and up-skilling provincial workforce to meet the increased demand for labour as the economy is recovering from the impact of the pandemic.
Saskatchewan Hard-To-Fill Skills Pilot: Eligibility criteria for applicants
The workers to be nominated under the Stream will be supported by their employers and community. The eligibility criteria for applicants under this stream include:
- A full-time, permanent job offer and an SINP job approval letter for an eligible occupation issued by a registered Saskatchewan employer.
- Meet minimum level of Canadian official language proficiency
- Meet minimum level of educational and work experience requirements. The applicant must have at least one year of work experience in the occupation described in the job offer or at least six-months work experience in the same job in Saskatchewan.
However, the province is yet to reveal the occupations that are eligible, minimum education requirement and language proficiency level required.
Saskatchewan Hard-To-Fill Skills Pilot: Requirements for employers
As far as the employers are concerned, they need to prove that they had made extensive efforts to fill the position domestically before opting the Pilot for recruitment. They must also demonstrate that recruiting a foreign worker would benefit their business and that they would fulfill all the requirements related to providing settlement support for workers.
Employers welcome the launching of the new Stream
The employers in the province welcomed the announcement of the launch of the new Stream. In a media release, Hospitality Saskatchewan President and CEO Jim Bence said it was very positive news for businesses in the hospitality industry in Saskatchewan. “This pilot project is designed to attract talent and a great program for all sectors currently experiencing labour recruitment challenges in the province. While we always work hard to exhaust every opportunity to hire locally, we have to be creative to ensure we have the right labour supply to help our business and communities grow and thrive in Saskatchewan, something this very unique program will be especially helpful with post-COVID,” the release said.