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Immigration and Skill Shortages Business and Labour Perspectives Presentation to the Standing Committee on Community Affairs and Economic Development October 6, 2005 Charlottetown, PEI Canadian Labour and Business Centre Presentation Outline About the Canadian Labour and Business Centre

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immigration and skill shortages business and labour perspectives

Immigration and Skill ShortagesBusiness and Labour Perspectives

Presentation to the Standing Committee on Community Affairs and Economic Development

October 6, 2005

Charlottetown, PEI

Canadian Labour and

Business Centre

presentation outline
Presentation Outline
  • About the Canadian Labour and Business Centre
  • Statistical profile of demographic trends which are heightening the skills and human resources challenges
  • Business and Labour views on skill shortages and immigration as a solution
  • Lessons learned from CLBC’s Round Tables on integrating immigrants into the labour market
  • Concluding Remarks: the importance and value of engaging business and labour on immigration issues
the canadian labour and business centre
The Canadian Labour and Business Centre
  • Seeks to improve dialogue between business, labour, government and education
  • Multipartite Board
  • Research / Consultation focus on labour market, skills and skill shortages, workplace learning
  • Is the Workplace Partners Panel for HRSDC’s workplace skills initiative
  • Lead organization of the Work & Learning Knowledge Centre, Canadian Council on Learning
slide4
Underlying DemographicTrends in Canada and Prince Edward Island are Heightening the Skills Challenge
  • Slowing population growth
  • Projected decline in working age population
  • A rapidly increasing “near-retirement” population
  • Inter-provincial migration
  • Growing reliance on immigration for labour force growth
demographic trends 1 population growth is slowing
Demographic Trends (1):Population Growth is Slowing
  • PEI’s population growth rate is below the national rate, and was essentially flat between 1996 and 2001
  • PEI’s fertility rate – at 1.6 - is slightly higher than Canada overall (1.5), but well below replacement level (2.1)

Source: Statistics Canada

demographic trends 2 projected decline in the working age population
Demographic Trends (2):Projected decline in the working age population
  • In PEI, the decline in the working age population will happen sooner and be more pronounced than in Canada overall
  • PEI’s dependency ratio (the percentage of children and elderly to the total working age population 15-64) is projected to increase from 45.3% in 2006 to 60.6% in 2026

Source: Statistics Canada

slide8
Demographic Trends (4a)Net Migration Between Prince Edward Islandand other Provinces and Territories, 1996-2001*
demographic trends 4b net migration by age group prince edward island 1996 2001
Demographic Trends (4b)Net Migration by Age Group,Prince Edward Island, 1996-2001*

Source: Statistics Canada

demographic trends 5 reliance on immigration for labour force growth
Demographic Trends (5):Reliance on Immigration for Labour Force Growth
  • In Canada, immigration represented 70% of net labour force growth between 1991 and 2001
  • In Prince Edward Island, immigration accounted for only 7% of net labour force growth

Source: Statistics Canada

how many immigrants come to prince edward island each year
How Many Immigrants Come to Prince Edward Island Each Year?

Source: Citizenship and Immigration Canada

do immigrants to pei stay in pei retention rates recent immigrants 1996 2001 by province
Do immigrants to PEI stay in PEI?“Retention Rates” – Recent Immigrants (1996-2001) by Province

Source: Prepared by the Canadian Labour and Business Centre using Citizenship and Immigration Canada data and Statistics Canada, Census data

slide13
Growing Demand for Skills: In all provinces, growth of high skilled occupations far outpaces growth in low skilled occupations
clbc s viewpoints survey
CLBC’s Viewpoints Survey
  • A snapshot of business, labour and public sector leaders’ perceptions of key challenges facing the economy
  • In 2002, 1,145 respondents
  • 2005 survey currently underway
slide15
Shortage of Skilled Labour% of business and labour leaders saying it is a “serious problem” is on the rise

Source: CLBC, Viewpoints Survey

slide16
High Level of Concern about Skill Shortages among Managers and Labour Leaders in Prince Edward Island

Source: CLBC, 2002 Viewpoints Survey

slide17
Managers and Labour Leaders in Prince Edward Island Agree on Top 5 Actions to Address Skills Requirements

Source: CLBC, 2002 Viewpoints Survey

where does immigration fit in the picture
Where Does Immigration Fit in the Picture?

Source: CLBC, 2002 Viewpoints Survey

managers perceived obstacles to hiring foreign trained workers clbc viewpoints survey 2002
Managers’ Perceived Obstacles to Hiring Foreign-trained WorkersCLBC Viewpoints Survey, 2002

Source: Canadian Labour and Business Centre

clbc s immigration round tables engaging business and labour on immigration issues
CLBC’s Immigration Round Tables: Engaging Business and Labour on Immigration Issues
  • In 2005, CLBC moderated five round tables on Integrating Immigrants into the Labour Market (Fredericton, Hamilton, Victoria, Saskatoon, Windsor)
  • Participation by local immigrant stakeholders (business, labour, immigrant-serving agencies, government and education)
  • Shared perspectives on the challenges of and solutions to immigrant integration
common issues
Common Issues
  • Immigrant expectations must be set realistically before they immigrate
  • Too much emphasis on university-trained; not enough on trades
  • Lack of national credentials standards
  • Inadequacy of language training
  • Inadequate funding for immigrant-serving agencies
  • Multiple government stakeholders in immigration make co-ordination difficult
  • Lack of SMEs’ internal capacity to integrate immigrants
  • Persistent negative attitudes to immigrants (‘job-stealers’, etc.)
policy implications
Policy Implications
  • Inform immigrants before they leave home
  • City-based policies/resources lag the realities of cities as the centres of economic growth and integration of immigrants
  • Resources for enhanced language training in technical language are essential (Level 2 doesn’t cut it for a technician)
  • Federal and provincial funds must find their way more directly to the local level for maximum impact
  • Inadequate credentials recognition is simply unacceptable
  • Small employers need help in integrating immigrants
  • Look for unions’ help in workplace support for immigrants
  • Innovative practices involving business and labour
concluding remarks the importance and value of engaging business and labour on immigration issues
Concluding Remarks:the importance and value of engaging business and labour on immigration issues
  • Putting immigrants on the business agenda
    • Dialogue with business about the importance of immigration as a human resource strategy; increase awareness of Nominee Program
  • Attracting, retaining and integrating immigrants requires actions on several fronts (language training; credentials recognition; employment opportunities; welcoming communities)
    • The design and delivery of immigration policies and programs in each of these areas will benefit from the input and involvement of business and labour
  • Engaging business and labour on immigration issues through dialogue, partnership, and innovative practice is critical
pei s population strategy 99 panel well placed recommendations
PEI’s Population Strategy ’99 Panel- well placed recommendations
  • “Particular emphasis should be placed on additional official language training supports; on means to support labour force entry by newcomers, including review of credentials and work-term placements; and on encouraging community-based initiatives to welcome and integrate newcomers”. (recommendation of the Panel)
thank you
Thank You!

Shirley Seward

CEO

(613) 234-0505 ext 231

s.seward@clbc.ca

www.clbc.ca

  • Clarence Lochhead
  • Senior Researcher
  • (613) 234-0505 ext 232
  • c.lochhead@clbc.ca
  • www.clbc.ca

Canadian Labour and Business Centre