The government has said that it will use this time to re-tool the Federal Skilled Worker program. When it re-opens in January 2013, we expect to see many of the changes that have been flying fast and furious in announcements and in the media:
- a higher standard for English or French ability
- more points for younger applicants
- a requirement to have credentials assessed prior to applying.
All of these may be reflected in a new points grid. Skilled tradespeople will likely find more opportunities in a new system.
Perhaps most significantly, we might see a change in the way applications are selected from a pool – rather than placed in a queue – in a way that resembles New Zealand’s ‘expression of interest’ system.
While we have some idea of what to look for, we do not yet know what these changes will look like. But we do know one thing for sure: this pause on applications does not mean a pause on our work.
While we must wait to see what the changes to the selection system mean for future Canadians, we know that skilled immigrants are here, now, and they are ready to work. They come to Canada with education, training, and global work experience. They bring new ideas and innovation to our economy. Likewise, those who arrive under the new system will have to build their networks when they arrive, regardless of their younger age and higher language skills.
We cannot sit back and wait to see what happens. We must continue to facilitate connections between skilled immigrants, their peers, and employers. We must continue to look for new, good ideas to connect employers with this talent pool, and to innovate in our programs and partnerships. Even when the government takes a pause to ponder and plan, we must power on.