The Government of Canada is planning to welcome more federal skilled workers in 2012, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced today.
The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) remains the principal avenue for permanent immigration to Canada. In 2012, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) plans to welcome 55,000–57,000 federal skilled workers, up from 47,000–47,400 in the 2011 Immigration Levels Plan.
““The government’s number one priority remains the economy. We recognize the importance of immigration to our labour market and we value the contributions of skilled immigrants who add to our international competitiveness,”” said Minister Kenney. ““We are committed to facilitating the arrival of the best and the brightest to our country.””
An important milestone was reached this year when the backlog of FSW applications prior to the launch of the 2008 Action Plan for Faster Immigration was reduced by more than 50 percent – two years ahead of schedule. The higher range in 2012 will support labour market responsiveness and sustain progress on backlog reduction.
CIC completed an extensive evaluation of the FSWP in 2010, showing that the program is working well and selecting immigrants who perform well economically. The report found that 89 percent of FSWs were employed or self-employed three years after landing. Moreover, 95 percent of the employers surveyed indicated that FSWs were meeting or exceeding their expectations. The evaluation indicated a strong continuing need for skilled immigrants in Canada.
““CIC will continue to ramp up efforts to modernize our immigration system to make it more nimble and responsive to labour market needs,”” said Minister Kenney. ““Following nationwide consultations this past spring on proposals to improve the Federal Skilled Worker Program, we are actively exploring policy options on the way forward.””