Manitoba to revamp immigration programme

The Canadian province of Manitoba could be about to revamp its Provincial Nomination Programme (PNP) in order to increase the number of skilled workers settling there.

Speaking on Friday, Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister stated that job-ready skilled workers and international students should see improved processing times through the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Programme through a new labour market strategy for immigration.

The premier explained that the changes will include new partnerships with industry and post-secondary institutions to employ international students and skilled newcomers and match them with in-demand jobs in Manitoba. Skilled workers could also be selected by their labour market and job-creating potential.

“We need to do a better job of helping with the skill development [of new arrivals],” Pallister said. “A significant number of PNP nominees have not been able to find work within a reasonable period of time.

“We’ve got to do a better job of helping them land on their feet when they come here.”

The provincial government estimates that there will be 177,800 job openings in Manitoba between now and 2021 – at least 25 per cent of which are likely to be filled by immigrants.

Pallister also said that he plans to eliminate the current Manitoba PNP backlog by April 2017 and ensure all future applications are processed in less than six months, in part by lobbying the feds to speed up visa applications.

More than 4,000 nominee applications are still waiting for a response from the province, down from more than 8,000 at the beginning of the year — some dating back to 2008, according to Education and Training Minister Ian Wishart.

As part of the changes, nominees will also have to pay a new fee once they have been accepted into the program. Wishart said the fee will be a maximum of CDN$500 and will be paid only once applicants are accepted.

This fee will go toward language training resources as well as assisting refugees and their families.

Article published 29th November 2016