Applications are open for the Thunder Bay Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot.
Thunder Bay, Ontario, is situated at the top of Lake Superior, one of the Great Lakes. A famous statue is on the outskirts of the city, commemorating Terry Fox, a Canadian icon who attempted to run across the country raising money for cancer research.
It is the largest city in northwestern Ontario, with a population of about 107,909. Thunder Bay is home to Confederation College and Lakehead University. The economy is driven by the public sector as it is the region’s commercial, administrative, and medical centre. The largest private-sector employer is a part of the forestry industry.
Born out of the need to enrich the labour markets outside of urban centres, RNIP provides a pathway to permanent residence for foreigners working in 11 participating communities. Each city gets to choose how they run their program.
Applications for the Thunder Bay RNIP were opened in early mid-April, but the program has been recruiting employers since January.
So far, Thunder Bay has issued two community recommendations for workers in occupations with a National Occupation Code skill level B. They are allowed to recommend 100 candidates for permanent residence for the first year of the pilot. Thunder Bay has distributed the allocations by skill level. They will give out a total of 10 skill level A recommendations, 40 skill level B, 40 skill level C, and 10 skill level D.
The pilot’s representative, Emily Lauzon, estimates they have received about 18 applications for the program, and they have more than 40 employers participating.
“The majority of [the employers] wanted to sign up for the RNIP so that they could retain an employee,” Lauzon told CIC News, “They aren’t necessarily looking to fill a vacancy.”
Lauzon said she expected that in the first year of the three-year program most employers would be more interested in retaining existing employees. Coronavirus travel restrictions are also affecting the RNIP operations, as for the time being only candidates who are already in Canada may apply.
Currently, the types of positions available to foreign talent through the Thunder Bay RNIP include hospital staff, long-term care workers, HVAC specialists, automotive technicians, construction and renovation workers, restaurants, and expert stonemasons.
More information about applying to the Thunder Bay RNIP can be found on their website.
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