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Naomi Alboim - Planning for the Future: Immigration and Labour Market Trends
 

Naomi Alboim - Planning for the Future: Immigration and Labour Market Trends

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Immigration policy in Canada is complex and is driven by both federal and provincial interests. Naomi Alboim, a leading expert in the field, will shed light on current trends in Canadian immigration, ...

Immigration policy in Canada is complex and is driven by both federal and provincial interests. Naomi Alboim, a leading expert in the field, will shed light on current trends in Canadian immigration, share insights on foreign qualification recognition, and suggest potential new directions for mentoring.

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    Naomi Alboim - Planning for the Future: Immigration and Labour Market Trends Naomi Alboim - Planning for the Future: Immigration and Labour Market Trends Presentation Transcript

    • Planning for the Future: Immigration and Labour Market Trends ALLIES Mentoring Conference Calgary May 2011 Naomi Alboim
    • Overview of presentation
      • Introduction
      • Canadian immigration and labour market context
      • Immigration numbers and trends
      • Pre-election consultations and proposals:
        • FQR
        • FSW
      • Implications for Immigrant Employment Councils
      • Recommendations
      • Conclusion
    • Introduction
      • Immigration trends rapidly shifting
      • Labour markets shifting as well
      • Significant policy and program implications
      • Significant implications for employers and service providers
    • Canada’s labour market context
      • Labour market forecasting is an art, not a science
      • Canada does not have a good track record in predicting specific skill shortages or surpluses but:
      • Two Mega Trends:
        • Aging population resulting in lower labour force participation rates
        • Knowledge economy requiring a more educated work force
    • Aging population
      • Aging workforce (baby boomers retiring), low fertility rates (below replacement) will create labour shortages
      • Need better utilization of underemployed, unemployed, underrepresented groups: Eg.
        • Aboriginal labour force participation rates for 15-24 year olds is 13.6% lower than total Canadian rates
        • Persons with disabilities aged 15-64 have labour force participation rate 22.4% lower than those without disabilities
      • But even with them, demand will exceed supply
      • By 2015, 100% of net labour force growth will depend on immigration
    • Supply and demand
    • Knowledge economy
      • Most new jobs (O, A, B) will require post-secondary education
      • Estimates range from low of 65% (HRSDC, 2007) to 81% (Ontario Ministry of Education, 2005)
      • Education/training beyond high school includes
        • Apprenticeship
        • College
        • University
        • Polytechnic
        • Industry/professional qualification
      • Essential skills for most new jobs will include high level communication skills, IT skills, working in teams, critical thinking, intercultural skills (beyond the commonly defined essential skills)
    • Labour force options and combinations
      • Increased involvement of Aboriginals
      • Increased involvement of persons with disabilities
      • Increased involvement of women
      • Increased involvement of older workers (ages 55 and older)
      • Increased involvement of youth (15 to 24 years of age)
      • Increased immigration and effective utilization of internationally trained skilled workers
              • Different strategies for each
    • Rising and declining immigration numbers: Canada and Ontario
      • Despite increased overall permanent immigration to Canada between 2006-2010, these increases were not reflected in all classes or in all provinces
      • 2006 2010
      • Family class: 70,517 60,207
      • Business Class : 12,076 13,301
      • FSW : 105,944 119,339
      • CEC : 0 3,916
      • PNP : 13,336 36,419
      • LCP : 6,895 13,906
      • Refugees: 32,499 24,693
      • Total (plus “other”) 251,642 280,636
      • Ontario: 125,892 118,116
    • Permanent residents awaiting a decision December 31, 2010
      • FSW apps rec’d on or after 02/27/08
      • 173,050
      • FSW apps rec’d before 02/27/08
      • 334,881
      • All other PR apps
      • 495,081
      • Total applicants awaiting a decision
      • 1,003,012
    • Rise in Temporary Workers
      • 2006 2010
        • TFW entries 139,004 182,322
        • TFW present Dec 160,908 283,096
      • Even during the recession, large numbers of TFW’s were being admitted, although there were some declines in 2009 in Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta, BC and NWT. All were up again in 2010.
      • BC, Alberta, NFLD, Nova Scotia and the Territories received more temporary foreign workers than permanent residents in 2009
      • Significant increase in low skilled temporary workers (NOC C+D)
    • 2009 Permanent Residents, Temporary Workers, International Students (entries)
      • Province 2009 PR 2009 TFW 2009 IS
      • Newfoundland 603 (.2) 1,395 (.8) * 530 (.6)*
      • PEI 1,723 (.7) 521 (.3) 322 (.4)
      • Nova Scotia 2,424 (1.0) 2,795 (1.6) 2,606 (3.1)*
      • New Brunswick 1,913 (.8) 1,705 (1.0) 1,422 (1.7)*
      • Quebec 49,493 (19.6) 27,786 (15.6) 14,134 (16.7)
      • Ontario 106,867 (42.4)* 61,056 (34.2) 30,503 (35.8)
      • Manitoba 13,520 (5.4) * 3,649 (2.0) 2,064 (2.4)
      • Saskatchewan 6,890 (2.7) 3,937 (2.2) 1,461 (1.7)
      • Alberta 27,017 (10.7) 28,610 (16.0) * 5,532 (6.5)
      • British Columbia 41,438 (16.4) 44,372 (24.9) 26,541 (31.2)*
      • Territories 291 (.1) 561 (.3) * 23 (.03)
      • Total 252,179 (100.0) 178,478 (100.0) 85,140 (100.0)
    • How are immigrants doing?
      • Recent immigrants hardest hit by the recession, particularly in regions hardest hit by the recession
      • Still recovering
      • No special initiatives were put into place for immigrants to reduce scarring
    • However Certain Factors Make A Difference…
      • Human capital matters:
        • Principal applicants in skilled worker class assessed on points system earn significantly more than all other classes
        • Knowledge of official language and education most important factors
      • Services matter:
        • Early interventions, language, social networks, Canadian top-ups
        • Internships (75-80% of Career bridge participants find full time employment in chosen careers)
        • Mentoring(80% of mentoring partnership participants find employment within 3 months; 85% in their field)
        • Bridge training (70% of graduates in Ontario working in their field and licensure exam pass rates have gone from 30 to 80%)
      • Social capital matters:
        • Family class members do better in first year after arrival
    • Possible Interventions
      • Focus on the immigrant
        • Levels/mix/source countries
        • Selection criteria (language, age, education, credentials, occupation)
      • Focus on programs and services
        • Know who’s coming and what their needs are
        • Bridge gap faced by immigrant before and after arrival
        • Information, qualification assessment, essential skills, language/communication and bridge training, mentorships, work experience programs, loans
    • .. Possible Interventions
      • Focus on systems and supports for host society and institutions
        • Regulatory bodies, employers, schools, universities, community colleges, community agencies
        • Bridge gap faced by the institutions: awareness/recognition of skills, cross-cultural/anti-racism training, supports, incentives, legislation, funding formulas
        • Multi-stakeholder collaboration
        • Inter and intra-governmental collaboration
    • Federal government responses: levels /mix and selection criteria
      • Decrease in overall immigration numbers by 5% forecast for 2011 from 2010
      • Decrease in Federal Skilled Workers (assessed on points system for human capital) by 20% forecast for 2011
      • Decrease in Family Class: parents and grandparents by about 31% forecast for 2011
      • Based on evaluation of FSW program, consultations on changes to the points system
      • Tied economic immigration more closely to short term labour market needs:
        • Restriction to 29 occupations or those with job offers and proof of language testing for new federal skilled worker applicants
        • Increased responsiveness to employers for temporary foreign workers
      • Unilaterally imposed cap on PNP at 2010-11 level
    • Federal government responses: programs, services, systems
      • Decreased funding for settlement services, particularly in Ontario and Toronto
      • Focus on FQR with stakeholders
      • Focus on overseas interventions
      • Budget included loan program to meet FQR requirements
      • Failed to re-negotiate COIA
    • Pre- election consultations
      • 1. Pan- Canadian FQR Framework: consultations with priority regulated occupations identified need for pan-Canadian initiatives in following areas:
        • Pre-arrival information, assessment, upgrading, mentoring
        • Assessment processes
        • Bridge training opportunities
        • Communications and soft skills
        • Workplace opportunities
        • Individual and employer supports
        • Alternate pathways
    • Pre-election consultations
      • 2. Selection criteria for FSW Principal applicants:
      • Consultations were held on proposed changes to point system based on findings of the FSW evaluation
      • Point system working well but needs some refinement
      • Human capital model works better than pre-IRPA model
      • FSWs do best of all classes in long term (including PNPs)
    • Language
      • Increase maximum points for first official language from 16 to 20 points
      • Require standardized language test for all PA’s
      • Introduce minimum language requirements depending on occupation:
        • CLB 8 for NOC O, A, and most B
        • CLB 6 for NOC B skilled trades
        • Issues raised in consultation:
          • How should the second official language be treated for points? Adaptability?
          • Do you get full points for minimum level required? Or is it a pre-requisite?
          • Should all Skilled trades require CLB 6? Perhaps some at 7?
          • Impact on levels and source countries?
    • Age
      • Increase weight of age on grid from 10 to 12 points
      • Award maximum points until age 35, with a sequential leveling off to age 49. No age points after 50
      • Issues raised in consultation:
        • Giving full points for 18-35 may not make sense.
        • Young single male FSW’s are the most mobile and may not be able to access education easily in Canada
        • Age 35 may be too young for maximum points
        • Age 36-40 tend to be married with young children (will stay)
        • Chain migration impacts should be studied
    • Education
      • Relax years of education required to earn education points to allow for skilled tradespersons, technicians and apprentices to qualify
      • Issues raised in consultations:
        • Education is significant predictor of success so do not reduce requirements across the board.
        • Consider eliminating need for credential and years of study to be assessed
        • Have different assessment for trades credentials
        • Require credentials to be assessed by recognized Canadian ACAS and assign points based on assessment
    • Work experience
      • Decrease points allotted to work experience from 21 to 15
      • Increase the range within which points are allotted (not four years=max pts)
        • 1-2 10 pts
        • 3-5 13 pts
        • 6+ 15 pts
    • Arranged Employment
      • Strengthen regulatory provisions and definitions to support more rigorous up-front assessment of the employer and job offer to prevent non-genuine job offers
      • Issues raised in consultations:
        • FSW evaluation showed this was best predictor of success, so should be encouraged and facilitated
        • Employers seeking temporary workers to fill permanent vacancies should be directed to use AEOs
        • This would be facilitated by developing searchable inventory
    • Outstanding issues
      • How can the adaptability points be better used?
      • If FSW program continues to decline in numbers because of rise in PNP and TFWs, these changes will be moot
      • If the FSW evaluation demonstrated that occupation based selection criteria pre-IRPA was not as effective, why have the Ministerial instructions restrict access to the FSW to only 29 occupations?
    • Implications for IECs
      • The role of IEC’s more important than ever to maximize contributions of skilled workers
      • Skilled immigrants will continue to enter Canada in many ways, not necessarily as PAs of FSW’s
      • Even if changes made to FSW criteria, they and others will still need supports pre and post arrival
      • Lots of interest and possibilities to work with other stakeholders like regulatory bodies and educational institutions
      • You can bring employers to the table to involve them in new initiatives
    • Recommendations
      • Explore opportunities for employer involvement with immigrants still overseas (AEO vs TFW)
      • Add regulated occupations as focus
      • Develop employer role for sustainable bridging programs: co-op positions, advisory boards, scholarships, PT instruction, workplace events, job fairs
      • Explore “return of service” agreements
      • Explore possibility of practice firms
      • Explore employer/preceptor incentives and supports to provide workplace opportunities for those not-yet-licensed and first Canadian work experiences
      • Explore opportunities for on-site training
      • Explore ways to expand internships to regulated occupations
    • Recommendations for Mentoring
      • Expand e-mentoring initiatives for access pre and post arrival (CIIP)
      • Explore mentoring for regulated occupations with licensing bodies and professional associations
      • Develop a mentoring program specifically for entrepreneurs
      • Develop a mentoring program for big companies to mentor SME’s on immigrant recruitment, hiring, retention and promotion
      • Work with large employers (eg, hospitals) to develop mentoring programs for ALL occupations
    • Conclusions
      • Wonderful initiatives taking place across the country
      • How transform individual projects to sustainable imbedded systems?
      • Need for rigorous evaluation, data, stories
      • Need for collective policy and program activism
      • Need for continued public advocacy on the benefits of immigration
      • Immigration patterns and policies are constantly evolving
      • Labour markets are constantly changing and differ across the country
      • Extremely difficult to get both in synch but vigilance necessary to see and act on early warnings recognizing broader context and implications
      • Strategies to address the diversity of our employee pool will ensure we have the workforce we need and the citizens our communities need to thrive