Minister Kenney speaks at IEC-BC sponsored breakfast meeting
IEC-BC partnered with the Surrey Board of Trade to present at a breakfast meeting with Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism on June 26, 2012. In front of more than 100 attendees, Kenney talked about his vision of a "fast and flexible" immigration system.
We know we need the talent, energy and drive of newcomers to fuel our economy,” said Kenney. “But newcomers are not succeeding, and at the same time employers are facing labour shortages. The system isn’t working.”
Kenney discussed ways to ensure newcomers have jobs in place when they arrive in Canada, such as allowing employers to select from immigration candidates with pre-assessed credentials, and expanding the provincial nominee system so that immigrants end up where the jobs are.
He said that a new skilled trades immigration stream will help Canada replace a generation of skilled trade workers on the cusp of retirement, while a new “Canadian experience class” will allow international students who already developed the language and cultural soft skills to stay in Canada, rather than having to exit and apply to immigrate. For immigrants that are already in Canada, the government is looking at offering micro financing, to help people pay for certification or additional training.
The Minister also acknowledged the importance of working with groups like IEC-BC and Chambers of Commerce to help small and medium employers integrate immigrant talent.
A copy of Mr. Kenney's speech before the Surrey Board of Trade is available here.