A new joint federal-provincial program, the Atlantic Immigration Pilot, will help Nova Scotian employers that need skilled workers hire foreign workers as a path to permanent residency. This employer-driven program will see employers applying for a designation to seek out and hire workers from other countries whose experience fit the skillsets they need to help their businesses succeed.
Bernadette Jordan, Member of Parliament for South Shore—St. Margaret’s, was pleased with the news of the program’s launch, saying “I have heard over and over again from businesses on the south shore that they need more workers with the right skills to help their businesses thrive. The temporary foreign worker program helped fill some of that need for some businesses but workers couldn’t stay and weren’t able to integrate into our communities. This new program will address some of that gap.”
As the program is designed to fit the needs of Atlantic businesses, the employer takes on more responsibility in supporting the newcomers’ integration into the community. The pilot program is accepting 2000 primary applicants and their families. As Suzanne Lohnes-Croft, MLA for Lunenburg, describes, “Nova Scotia is making great strides in keeping more immigrants in the province for the long run, but having a steady job, a place to live, and their family here as well will help make sure that people who come to Nova Scotia, stay in Nova Scotia.”
Jordan added “Immigration is a key factor in Atlantic Canada’s long-term success. We know that more families in the province means more kids enrolled in our schools, more volunteers in our communities, and more people of working age to help support our seniors.”
The pilot program is part of the Atlantic Growth Strategy, a joint federal-provincial initiative, which was launched in summer 2016 by the four Atlantic federal Ministers and the premiers of the four Atlantic provinces. The collaborative approach will take bold, strategic action to address some of the region’s persistent trends: an ageing population, need for workers in key industries, and growth for small and medium-sized businesses.