With Canada overtaking the United States as the most attractive destination for foreign workers, two virtual expos will be held next month to help new Canadians connect with employers, universities and government agencies.
The free Routes Expos by Newcomers Canada is a leading resource hub for newly arrived immigrants to discover opportunities. It will be held virtually in Eastern Canada on April 7 and in Western Canada on April 8, 2021.
“We want newcomers to know we are here to help and that there are still many great opportunities available to them,” said Erin Flynn, Newcomers Canada.
“These events are not only for newcomers but also for Canadian businesses, economic development and government bodies working to attract quality talent that will sustain their businesses and regions.”
Newcomers Canada has held similar successful events for new Canadians across Canada and around the world for over 10 years. The Government of New Brunswick is the title sponsor of the 2021 Routes Expo.
“We know that navigating a new country can be challenging and that the current pandemic has caused some additional complications for new Canadians. We encourage everyone [interested] to view the event schedule and to take full advantage of all that this dynamic virtual event platform has to offer,” said Flynn.
Canada is home to almost eight million foreign-born residents or 21.5 per cent of Canada’s population and admits over 470,000 temporary foreign workers, 341,000 permanent residents and 640,000 international students per year.
Under a new plan, Canada is planning to welcome more than 1.2 million newcomers between 2021 and 2023 with 401,000 new permanent residents to Canada in 2021, 411,000 in 2022 and 421,000 in 2023. Before the coronavirus pandemic, the previous plan set targets of 351,000 in 2021 and 361,000 in 2022.
The Routes Expos are being staged in the wake of a new study that shows Canada has overtaken the United States as the most attractive destination for foreign workers.
The report on global talent from Boston Consulting Group surveyed 209,000 people in 190 countries between October and December 2020.
It found the pandemic was a key factor affecting foreign workers’ preferences.
The report authors said COVID-19 has driven a reduction in overall interest in working abroad, with only 50 per cent of people willing to move to another country for work, compared to 57 per cent in 2018 and 64 per cent in 2014.
In addition, more restrictive immigration policies, such as in the U.S. during the Trump administration, have also reduced willingness (and ability) to legally work abroad in recent years.
“Restrictive immigration policies have already weakened the mobility trend,” said Rainer Strack, one of the authors of the study.
“COVID is a new variable that is making people cautious about considering international relocation.”
How countries managed the COVID-19 pandemic had a strong influence on the top-ranked destinations. Canada (number one), Australia (third), and Japan (sixth) all had relatively low COVID incidence rates. Singapore and New Zealand, which managed the pandemic remarkably well, joined the top ten rankings for the first time.
Canada was also the top choice for those with master’s degrees and doctorates, workers with digital expertise, and workers under 30.
Openness to virtual work was especially high with tech workers, with 71 per cent of digital and analytics employees willing to do it, and 67 per cent of IT workers, added the study.
“Hiring people from other countries is not a new practice for employers,” said Pierre Antebi, another of the report’s authors.
“But the trend of remote working makes it possible to do it on a broader scale and expand the available talent pool,” he said.
Fabian Dawson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, New Canadian Media