Canadian Immigration Policy Lags Behind in the 4th Industrial Revolution
Just like other 1st world countries, the Canadian economy is changing. Highly specialized careers are evolving from the ever-changing marketplace impacted by technology and innovation. The last decade has brought with it advances in artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, and other technologies. New occupations are being created, and old ones are shifting, so much so that the talent available in Canada is not enough to keep up with the needs of the economy.
Many of these technologies come as no surprise, but they are happening much quicker than was previously predicted. The Information and Communications Technology Council reports that the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) sector in Canada will need to fill approximately 216,000 technology-related positions by 2021.
Canada’s Global Skills Strategy
Canada has long recognized the problems that come with talent shortages in specific sectors of business. They create the Global Skills Strategy to help solve these issues, allowing Canadian companies to use a system known as the Global Talent Stream (GTS) to access foreign workers who are trained in specific jobs. With the GTS, there are two sections that employers can utilize to bring workers into the country:
- Category A: Employers need to demonstrate that a requested position requires a highly unique and specialized talent not available to them in Canada. This category is only available to companies that have been referred to by one of the GTS Designated Partners.
- Category B: Employers are allowed to hire skilled foreign workers on the Global Talent Occupations List. This list includes traditional STEM roles that are in-demand and are not sufficient within the domestic labour supply.
Limitations of the GTS
Global technology companies benefit immensely from doing business in Canada, thanks to the GTS and other immigration programs. However, it is time for the government to accept and act on the fact that these systems were crafted to fill traditional job roles within tech companies, not for the evolving skills shortage present today. GTS categories do not accurately represent those changes, making it difficult to accommodate emerging and future occupations that are necessary to keep the economy growing.
Companies must use the NOC system, a standardized system used to describe and categorize work done in the Canadian labour market. For occupations that did not exist at the time NOC codes were created, the system is highly problematic. For example, there is not a NOC code that addresses the two different skill sets required by a self-driving car mechanic.
Should There be a Category C?
One proposed solution to this labour and immigration problem is to add a Category C to the GTS. This category could mandate that employers give detailed explanations of the future occupational role and provide a summary of their valuable skills. A Category C would be similar to Category A in that employers would need to be referred to a Designated Partner.
No matter how the problem is solved, it is becoming unmistakably clear that the Canadian government is going to have to address how its immigration system will rise up to meet the challenges of the 4th industrial revolution.
Immigration Assistance from a Mississauga Immigration Lawyer
Whether you are already part of Canada’s foreign talent pool or want to become a part of it under the GTS, you could benefit from the services of a knowledgeable Mississauga immigration lawyer.
Connect with Mr. Vasim Shaikh (Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant, RCIC and a Member of ICCRC) or one of our other experienced lawyers by calling (647)-951-6200 or use our online contact form. We assist clients of all nationalities and backgrounds and offer services in 15 different languages, including English, French, Hindi, Punjabi, Gujarati, Bangla, Chinese, Italian, Telugu, and Tamil.