New Federal Skilled Worker Program Prepares Immigrants to Succeed

CIC News
Published: September 17, 2012

When the Federal Skilled Worker Class (FSWC) reopens, it will include a number of important changes. The changes to the program are scheduled to come into force on January 1st, 2013. They were created so that immigrants who gain Permanent Residency through the FSWC will be better prepared to find work and settle into Canadian society.

In this article, CIC News explores the logic behind the new changes, as well as how the FSWC will help immigrants come to Canada with brighter futures than ever before.

The FSWC – What Needed to Change

In 2011, 37% of economic immigrants to Canada were admitted via the FSWC. This makes the FSWC the largest Canadian immigration program available today.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) is committed to ensuring that FSWC immigrants, like all newcomers to Canada, are well prepared to thrive in their new home. However, a 2010 review of the FSWC discovered that 22% of immigrants were not satisfied with their jobs in Canada. To find out why this was the case, CIC conducted extensive research into why some immigrants were not succeeding in Canada, and how this could be solved.

CIC pinpointed a number of areas where the immigration process could be improved. These included better assessing language proficiency and educational credentials, re-evaluating Canadian and foreign work experience, and focusing on younger workers with essential skills. It was determined that the FSWC system needed revision to improve these areas and help applicants with the potential to make the most out of their immigration to Canada.

“Our government has a plan for a faster, more flexible, responsive, and secure immigration system that will better meet Canada’s economic needs while continuing to uphold our humanitarian commitments,” explained Immigration Minister Jason Kenney. “With our changes, immigrants will see their lives improve, and Canadians will see the economy grow”.

The Logic Behind Important Changes

Changes to the FSWC were made with the best interests of both immigrants and the Canadian economy in mind. Some of the changes that will most benefit immigrants in Canada are explained below:

Requiring a minimum level of language proficiency

  • Problem: CIC studies showed that an immigrant who does not proficiently speak one of Canada’s official languages (English or French) experienced great difficulty finding jobs and integrating into Canadian society
  • Solution: All applicants to the FSWC will be required to prove their proficiency in an official language. Those who do not meet minimum proficiency standards will not be eligible to apply.
  • Benefit: An applicant who receives a visa through the new FSWC program will arrive in Canada with the language skills and confidence needed to find a good job and quickly be able to make friends.

Requiring a foreign credentials assessment

  • Problem: Some new immigrants had difficulty finding jobs because Canadian employers did not understand the value of their foreign educational credentials
  • Solution: Applicants to the FSWC will have to have their educational credentials assessed by a third party designated by the Canadian government
  • Benefit: Upon arrival to Canada, immigrants will be able to demonstrate to future employers exactly what their education is equivalent to in Canada. This will help them more quickly find employment that fits their skills.

Placing a stronger emphasis on younger workers

  • Problem: Older workers often had difficulty adapting to Canada, and retired soon after finding a Canadian job
  • Solution: The FSWC points system has been restructured to award younger applicants
  • Benefit: Young professionals who are admitted to Canada can look forward to a long future of working and living in the country. The Canadian economy benefits by gaining workers who will contribute for many years to come.

These are just a few of the changes that will come into effect when the FSWC reopens. Future applicants who are accepted under the new system can look forward to greater opportunities for work and settlement in Canada.

“The FSWC is changing according to what we now know works best for immigrants and for Canada,” says Attorney David Cohen. “Potential applicants who think they would be a good fit are encouraged to apply sooner rather than later, as this new system is sure to be extremely popular and very likely will have a global cap on the number of applications accepted.”

Canadian immigration is designed to be a mutually beneficial arrangement whereby immigrants can transform their lives and the country can gain valuable new Canadian Permanent Residents. The changes to the new FSWC are crafted to ensure that both immigrants and Canadians continue to prosper from the immigration system.

To find out whether you may be eligible to apply to the revised FSWC, or one of over 60 Canadian immigration programs, please fill out a free online assessment.

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