Three other provinces in Atlantic are taking a leaf out of the book of Nova Scotia’s program to aid foreign students to work and reside in their provinces in a bid to increase their populations.
Ahmed Hussen, Federal Immigration Minister, was quoted by The Canadian Press as saying that the retention rate of Atlantic Canada for skilled immigrants was at about 60 percent compared to rates of Ontario and Alberta, which are 90 percent or more.
He said the region-wide extension of ‘Study and Stay’ program of Nova Scotia will complement the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Project, which was announced in 2016, that links immigrants and employers.
Speaking at a news conference in Moncton, N.B. on 20 February, Hussen said that the program’s intention was clearly about retaining people in Atlantic provinces. Although Atlantic Canada had never faced a hindrance in attracting skilled immigrants, the obstacle has been retention, he said.
According to him, such programs are crucial as involved in them are companies that help create local roots for talented immigrants and their families. Hussen said that it would go a long way in enhancing the retention rate.
Study and Stay in Nova Scotia extends targeted support and services for nearly 50 foreign students when they are pursuing their final year studies of post-secondary education.
Included in the program are career guidance and path to job-related events and workshops, and a subsidy is also provided to aid local employers make up for the cost of recruiting students for a work-term after their graduation.
Karen Casey, Nova Scotia’s deputy premier, was quoted as saying that more than 700 enquiries had been received for the program from international students. Out of the total, 49 students were chosen for participation.
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