Canada is taking steps to address labor shortages by welcoming skilled refugees and other displaced individuals to the country. The government is launching a new economic pathway under the Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot (EMPP) to help employers hire these individuals.
The EMPP program pairs skilled refugees and displaced individuals with Canadian employers who need to overcome labor shortages in key occupations. This allows Canada to welcome vulnerable people while giving employers access to an untapped talent pool.
The government is expanding the EMPP by creating a new federal pathway that will open this summer. The new pathway will give employers more opportunities to fill in-demand jobs, including nursing aides, personal support workers, long-term care aides, software engineers, web designers, mechanical and electrical engineers and technicians, teachers, tourism and hospitality workers, and truck and delivery service drivers. The EMPP program gives employers another avenue to address their labor market needs while offering EMPP candidates an opportunity to restart their careers and their lives in safety with their families in Canada.
The new federal pathway will have standardized eligibility criteria and a simpler application process, making it easier and faster for applicants to apply. In most cases, applications are expected to be processed within 6 months. EMPP newcomers will be able to move to and start working in Canada quickly.
Canada has set ambitious targets for the EMPP. Over the next few years, Canada will continue to expand the program and welcome 2,000 qualified refugees and displaced individuals to fill specific labor shortages in high-demand sectors such as healthcare, skilled trades, and information technology.
NGO partners are working with provinces, territories, and communities to engage employers across the country, for example by organizing job fairs to connect them to qualified candidates overseas. The government will work closely with partner organizations and communities across the country to raise awareness of the new pathway among employers and sector leaders so they can factor skilled refugees and displaced individuals into their recruitment plans.
The EMPP program provides facilitation measures that include waiving some fees, making it easier to validate work experience, and letting candidates use loans to fund travel costs, settlement needs, start-up costs, and fees that cannot be waived. An NGO partner provides low-interest microloans to eligible EMPP candidates who do not have the minimum funds to meet settlement requirements.
Canada’s continued improvements to the immigration system will help make it more responsive to Canada’s economic needs and humanitarian commitments. As these individuals rebuild their lives and careers, they help fill gaps in Canada’s labor force, contribute to local economies, and enrich communities. More information on the new federal pathway, including eligibility criteria, will be available on the EMPP webpage in the coming weeks.
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