Companies in Canada will be able to bring in highly skilled experts they need to grow their business from overseas as part of a new global skills strategy to be introduced in 2017.
The aim of the strategy is to help companies flourish by attracting highly qualified people from around the world to boost innovation and drive the Canadian economy forward.
The strategy will be implemented in the second half of next year and will establish a two week standard time for processing visas and work permits for low risk, high skilled talent for companies in Canada.
To do this a special dedicated service channel will be set up for companies looking to make large, job creating investments in Canada and the work permit requirement for very short term work, for instance 30 days or less, will be dropped for low risk fields of work. Brief academic stays would also be eligible under the new strategy.
McCallum explained that the strategy is needed because the global demand for highly skilled talent in the knowledge economy is outpacing the supply, leaving companies in Canada without the talent needed to fill vacancies and grow their businesses.
In the coming months the Government will seek feedback from stakeholders on the design of the Global Skills Strategy, making sure companies in Canada will benefit from day one.
‘We know that when talented researchers, innovators and leaders are able to provide their expertise, even temporarily, their work can have a multiplier effect on job creation. In the global competition for highly skilled people, it is crucial that these types of workers can get here quickly,’ McCallum said.
Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, said that business leaders have told him that attracting top global talent actually increases economic activity. ‘Tapping into a large pool of highly trained people, both in Canada and abroad, will set this country up for success as a global innovation leader and it will enable high-growth Canadian companies to develop more quickly into globally competitive successes,’ he explained.
According to Benjamin Bergen, executive director of the Council of Canadian Innovators, the change will mean that the immigration system is moving closer to the speed of the innovation economy and better allowing scale-ups to grow their companies within Canada.
‘This type of collaboration between industry and government is exactly what is needed to ensure the success of the innovation agenda and to grow Canada’s economy,’ he said.
Nick Green, president of Therapure Biopharma, a fast growing biopharmaceutical company, explained that it is creating a variety of great jobs in Mississauga but it is not always easy to find experienced individuals for the manufacturing of biologic drugs with expertise in drug and process development and commercial manufacturing.
‘These positions require experience, as well as very specific advanced degrees in biochemistry, biologic drug development and chemistry, to really drive our business forward. We see the Global Skills Strategy’s fast work permit processing as being a benefit when those highly skilled people aren’t available in Canada and we need to look abroad,’ he added.