Atlantic Canada to expand immigration program

The Canadian government has boosted the number of people allowed to enter the country through the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Project by 500 spaces.

The project is a regional immigration program which is focused on retaining skilled workers in the four Atlantic Canada provinces – Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Prince Edward Island.

The Atlantic Immigration Pilot allows employers to fill labour needs by offering jobs to skilled foreign workers or recently graduated international students. The additional allotment will increase the total number of spots for 2018 from 2,000 to 2,500 across Atlantic Canada.

Canada’s Federal Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen explained that the addition of spaces to the pilot program was partly due to high demand from employers. By contrast, as of November of last year, the region had accepted less than half of the allotment for 2017.

“Like any other new immigration program, the uptake was slower than we would have preferred in 2017, but I can assure you that story is quite different today,” the Minister said.

Also on Tuesday, Navdeep Bains, minister of innovation, science and economic development, announced that co-ordinators for the Study and Stay program would be hired in Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and New Brunswick over the summer. The program provides employment support to graduated international students, including matching them with employers.

The program had previously been launched in Nova Scotia last year but will now be expanded throughout Atlantic Canada.

Bains said he hopes to retain an additional 200 international graduates in the region each year through the Study and Stay program.

Article published 11th July 2018