Canada Staring at Acute Shortage of Nurses—a Fantastic Opportunity for Foreign Nursing Professionals

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Canada’s provinces are likely to focus on more immigrant nursing professionals even as the country stares at a sharp mismatch between risking nursing job vacancies and stagnant employment in the sector.

Where are the Nursing Professionals in Canada?

A 2017 report by Employment and Social Development Canada had predicted highest growth in employment in the nursing sector through the coming decade. As predicted, vacancies in the sector have been rising with a 77 per cent growth in nursing job vacancies between 2015 and 2019.

Yet, surprisingly, employment levels i.e. the number of persons employed in the sector have stagnated. Simply put, this means employers are keen on hiring more nurses but growth in number of nurses has not matched the rising demand among employers.

Factors Contributing to the Nursing Shortage

One key factor could be how wage growth for nurses has lagged as compared to other sectors of the Canadian economy for many years now. In 2011, a nursing professional in Canada earned 50 per cent more than an individual in a typical job in any other sector. This figure fallen to just 36 per cent in 2018.

Another statistic highlighting the wage-growth mismatch is the average hourly wage mismatch. The average hourly wage for all occupations in Canada is $27 per hour, as opposed to $37 per hour earned by nurses in Canada.

This is a significant mismatch considering the onerous duties that nurses perform and the high-stress environment in which they work.

Wage mismatch apart, the tough working conditions in the industry is putting off youngsters from taking up this noble professional. Even those who choose nursing prefer casual employment that offer greater work-life balance over permanent positions.

Further complicating the problem is the issue of burn out among experienced nurses. There has been a steady rise in number of experienced professionals opting for sick leaves, which contributes to further strain on already overworked nurses.

A Job Seeker’s Market Today

There’s no doubt that nursing has become a job-seeker’s market in Canada today. Average unemployment in the sector is hovering around one per cent compared to the national average of five per cent.

Employment openings and rising and such vacancies remain open for long periods before employers finally succeed in filling the same. Online recruitment sites confirm that adverts for nursing positions in 2016-17 received half as any clicks as a standard job advert by a Canadian employer.

Great Opportunity for Foreign Professionals

Considering the key role of the occupation and implications of shortage of nurses, it’s not surprising that Canadian provinces have already initiated steps to attract foreign professionals through their provincial nomination programs.

Many provinces have streams setup specifically for healthcare professionals. Now, provinces have begun adding NOC codes related to nursing and home support workers, with Ontario being the latest one, to their In-Demand Skills streams.

With employers focusing on measures like assigning more nurses to individual units, making working conditions less stressful, and increasing wages, foreign professionals stand to gain from the opportunity hidden in this growing crisis.

Canada’s Nursing Shortage Could Get Worse Before It Gets Better

TORONTO ― A new report from job search site Indeed says there’s a growing labour shortage in nursing nationwide that’s showing “no signs of easing.”

Indeed says nursing employment levels have plateaued in recent years, despite projections that forecast the opposite. In 2017, Employment and Social Development Canada predicted nursing employment growth would be among the highest of all occupations in the coming decade.

That hasn’t happened, and Indeed’s data suggests the number of nurses in Canada has flatlined in recent years, despite a 77-per-cent increase in nursing job vacancies since 2015.

“I think it’s generally just a sign of tougher hiring conditions in the nursing field,” Indeed economist Brendon Bernard told HuffPost Canada. “Not only are nursing openings up, but more of them are remaining vacant for long periods.”

The data suggests employers are struggling to recruit nurses in an environment where unemployment is often below one per cent, well below the national average of around five per cent, according to Indeed. An average nursing position received half as many clicks on Indeed as a typical job ad in 2016-2017, Bernard said.

“Indeed job posting and click data suggest job seeker interest in nursing roles is increasingly lagging demand,” Bernard wrote.

“Not every type of occupation has that type of demand,” he said. “It’s really a job-seeker’s market.”

Debbie Forward, president of the Registered Nurses’ Union Newfoundland and Labrador, says there are plenty of nursing jobs available in her province, but new grads are reluctant to hop into roles where they might be overworked and under-appreciated.

“We might have vacancies in this province but our new grads aren’t taking the permanent vacant positions,” Forward said. “They’re choosing to work on a casual basis because they tell me that they’re not willing to work in areas with high workload and they can’t get time off when they want it.”

Forward says young nurses, in particular, don’t want to be “held captive to their employer” and stuck in situations where they’re working too many long hours and feeling defeated at the end of a long and gruelling shift.

“Young people coming into our profession are saying ‘I’m not willing to work like that,’” Forward said. “Right now, our members are leaving work defeated, they’re leaving work beaten down, and it’s driving up sick leave, it’s affecting morale, it’s increasing burnout, and those things are affecting the number of nurses and the shortage in our profession,” she continued.

“We have to make the profession attractive again.”

Vicki McKenna, president of the Ontario Nurses’ Association, says nursing is a difficult job with lives at stake and that only gets more difficult as nurses are asked to do more with less.

“It isn’t a recruitment problem as much as it is a retention problem,” McKenna told HuffPost. “Enough attention is not being paid to nursing and that’s to the detriment of all of us.”

Nurses say there are some tangible ways to make the profession more attractive to young people, such as increasing their numbers in individual units.

“It starts with making sure that we have staffing levels that meet needs of patients so people feel confident,” Forward said. “The value starts in making sure we have them in the right numbers first and then we get into what is a fair compensation level for those individuals.”

Increasing wages is another potential solution for addressing the shortage.

“Wage growth for nurses has lagged the rest of the economy for a few years now,” Bernard said. “That’s one factor that’s contributing to the slowdown in job growth for nurses.”

Indeed says nurses earned 48 per cent more than the typical job in 2011. Nowadays, they’re earning 36 per cent higher wages than average. Statistics Canada says the average hourly wage rate for nurses was $36.59 in 2018, whereas it was $26.92 for all occupations in Canada.

Low CRS Score Blocking your Path to Canadian Permanent Residence? Here is What You Need to Do!

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A combination of immigration-friendly policies, steady increase in entry of skilled workers from India, Vietnam, and other countries, and a chaotic immigration setup in the US has made Canada the preferred destination for skilled immigrants from across the globe.

However, a low CRS score under the Express Entry application system can lead to frustrating delays for applicants. This is where it becomes very important to alternative routes that boost the CRS score or allow immigrants to bypass Express Entry altogether.

Provincial Nomination

Canada has a unique immigration setup where the power to create, administer, and modify immigration programs is shared between the Federal government and the states.

An Express Entry applicant must qualify under one of the three federal programs—Federal Skilled Worker, Federal Skilled Trades, or the Canadian Experience Class.

Further, states are permitted to setup ‘Express Entry’ streams of their provincial nomination programs, which allows them to nominate candidates suitable for their specific and unique requirements.

A provincial nomination results in an automatic 600-point increase in the applicant’s CRS score, which virtually guarantees an Invitation to Apply in the next EE round.

The three federal programs covered by Express Entry allow those proficient in English or French to apply. Proficiency in both languages may result in a higher CRS score but absence of proficiency in French is not a disqualification.

Ontario’s Express Entry French-Speaking Skilled Worker stream is open only to applicants with minimum CLB 7 or higher proficiency in French.

This means an applicant struggling to qualify for an ITA may improve his/her French proficiency and, subject to fulfilling other requirements, qualify for a provincial nomination and a faster and smoother route to permanent residence in Canada.  

Immigration Pilot Programs

Programs like the Atlantic Immigration Pilot program (AIPP) or the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot designed to cater to specific regions of the country or specific sectors of the economy.

An international graduate from a public institution located in one of the four Atlantic provinces with a job offer from an eligible employer can qualify for Canadian PR even without any work experience.

Under AIPP’s high-skilled program, even those with just one year of professional work experience have a shot at skilled worker immigration into the country.

The Rural Pilot program allows fresh graduates from institutions located in the recommending-community to qualify for fast-track permanent residence.

For those unlikely to qualify under federal programs or even provincial streams, an investment of one or two years towards an international degree or work experience in these regions or communities can  

Other Strategic Options

Getting a post-graduation degree, gaining work experience in Canada through a work permit, improving one’s proficiency in English and French, or applying for a study permit in the country are some strategic options to boost the CRS score.

The ideal route to Canadian permanent residency is to identify the opportunity as early as possible, explore all available ways to have a high CRS score, and, finally, work with a reputed immigration professional with a thorough understanding of the various immigration pathways into Canada.

STUDYING IN CANADA—A PATHWAY TO CANADIAN PERMANENT RESIDENCE FOR YOUNG AND AMBITIOUS FOREIGN STUDENTS

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The Express Entry application system may be suitable for skilled workers and professionals seeking permanent residence in Canada. However, ambitious youngsters from emerging countries like India or Vietnam can explore another pathway to Canadian permanent residence—study permit in Canada.

A degree from a reputed Canadian educational institution coupled with internship experience followed by a full-time job under the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) can offer a clear and easy route to Canada PR for foreign students.

What’s more, being an international student opens up numerous provincial nomination streams closed to foreign skilled workers.

International Graduate and Express Entry

A Canadian degree can prove to be a great shortcut to an employment offer from a Canadian firm, which can boost your CRS score by 50-200 points, the biggest boost barring the 600 points awarded to successful provincial nomination.

Job offer apart, completing post-secondary education in Canada means a 15-30 point boost to your CRS score.

To qualify for PR, one must have a high CRS score and be eligible under one of the three federal immigration programs. Full-time study in Canada can help you score five out of the ten points awarded under Adaptability selection factor of the Federal Skilled Worker Program.

An arranged employment can lead to another five points and give you a ten-point boost over others, not a small thing considering you need just 67 points to qualify under the FSWP.

Provincial Nomination Advantage

The real advantage of a Canadian degree lies in how it opens up the route to provincial nomination. British Columbia, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and Ontario—all have specific streams targeting international graduates.

So, it makes sense to keep an eye on these streams when choosing the institution, program, and province for studying in Canada. The right choice can lead to an assured route to permanent residence post completion of the degree.

Student Entrepreneurs Welcome

Canada is probably the only country in the world that offers students the opportunity to become entrepreneurs and simultaneously qualify for permanent residence on the basis of their Canadian degree.

Apart from British Columbia, Prince Edward Island, and Ontario, all other provinces have some form of international graduate entrepreneur streams where students with innovative startup ideas enjoy a fast-track route to permanent residence.

Studying in Canada—Factors to Consider

Your choice of province and program should be based on factors like-

  • Existing and potential in-demand occupations in the province.
  • Presence of international graduate and international graduate entrepreneur PNP streams.
  • Quality of education and reputation of the institutions in the province.
  • Internship opportunities among employers in the province, which can easily lead to a job offer after graduation.
  • Suitability of the PGWP route for working and qualifying for PR from another province.

Canada’s unique interlinking of studying and immigration means your study decision should be based on something more than just academic factors and parameters. This is why consulting with an immigration professional specializing in both study and immigration assistance will be a very smart move.

British Columbia issued new invitations for entrepreneurs

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On January 30, British Columbia held a new round of invitations to entrepreneurs under British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP). In total, 19 invitations have been issued and a minimum score was 109 points.

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Immigration in Quebec: Selection through Arrima suspended due to pending unprocessed files

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More than 18,100 of files from the economic immigration category in Quebec that were submitted before August 2, 2018, and are still pending processing has led to the suspension of the Arrima portal for the selection of new candidates. The legislation requires the province’s Immigration Ministry to handle requests in the chronological order in which they were registered. In an optimistic scenario, these 18,100 still-pending files could be handled in six months at the earliest. However, if no urgent measures are taken, it could take almost three years.

#Quebec, #Arrima #ImmigCanada #Canada

Parents and Grandparents Sponsorship opens

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January 28, the Parent and Grandparent Program (PGP) opens to sponsors to apply for sponsoring their parents and grandparents. The interest to sponsor was opened noon (12:00 PM) EST.  Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada will receive applications in a first-in, first-served system. Invitations to Apply to the PGP will be issued until the program’s cap of 20,000 complete applications is met.

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The most popular professions in Canada for immigrants

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This year, the government plans to accept 330,000 immigrants, and almost 60% of all newcomers will arrive via economic immigration programs. Canada’s economic immigration programs will accept 81,400 immigrants in 2019. Government data for January-October 2018 shows which specialists are at the top of the list, invited to apply for permanent residence in Canada through the Express Entry at the end of 2018. It is expected that these occupations will be in demand in 2019. These occupations are software engineers and designers, information systems analysts and consultants, computer programmers and interactive media developers, financial auditors and accountants, administrative assistants, professional occupations in advertising, marketing, and public relations, financial and investment analysts, university professors and lecturers, professional occupations in business management consulting, and advertising, marketing and public relations managers.

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Parents sponsorship eligibility

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Every immigrant who wishes to bring both parents has to have earned at least $40,000 a year in the last three years. If that immigrant adds his grandparents to his application, his or her income must be at least $60,000 per year. There may be a period of nine years between the application and the arrival of the sponsored person. The same income must be maintained throughout this period. However, the federal government confirms on its website that an application that meets all conditions is processed within 24 months. The cost of the parent and grandparent application is no less than $1,000, and it is non-refundable if the application is rejected.

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Manitoba is seeking to attract more international students

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Manitoba Minister of Education and Training Kelvin Goertzen declared 2019 the year of international education in the province. Manitoba is seeking to attract more foreign students. The minister sees international education enriching the province, allowing its citizens to develop a global network and providing economic opportunities. The Manitoba Council for International Education, in cooperation with the provincial government, has been working to attract international students. The Council has expressed satisfaction with the government’s announcement that 2019 is International Education Year in the province.

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Trudeau is willing to help Quebec with a temporary reduction in immigration by 20%

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Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau demonstrated a new willingness to help Quebec Premier François Legault temporarily reduce immigration to the province by more than 20% even as Ottawa promotes higher immigration as the key to a stronger economy. More than 90% of the thousands of people who have crossed between the US and Canada have done so through Quebec. The Quebec government is seeking $300 million in compensation from the Federal Government, but Ottawa is only offering to cover $140 million. According to Minister Dominic LeBlanc, reducing immigration at a time when many Quebec businesses are facing severe labour shortages will be a challenge.​

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