skilled worker

On March 16, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney launched consultations to identify how immigration can best respond to Canada’s new and emerging labour market needs.

The Government of Canada is seeking the views of Canadians on how to help lead Canada to full economic recovery from the global recession. These consultations will look at worker shortages in trades and professions across Canada as well as the factors that affect an immigrant’s ability to succeed in Canada’s work force.

The consultations will help develop instructions to immigration officers on which economic immigration applications are eligible for processing. As part of the Action Plan for Faster Immigration, the first set of instructions was issued in November 2008 as a tool to keep the backlog of applications from growing, to reduce wait times for new applications and to better match new economic applicants to Canada’s labour market needs.

Before the Action Plan for Faster Immigration was introduced, the backlog in the federal skilled worker category stood at more than 600,000 applicants, and that number has gone down by almost 40 per cent. People applying now to the federal skilled worker program can expect to receive a decision within one year compared to six years under the old system.

The consultations will be held with national and regional stakeholders, provinces and territories and the general public between now and April 16, 2010.

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