Canadian Plastics

Federal program to bring skilled workers to Atlantic Canada made permanent

The Atlantic Immigration Program will officially open on Jan. 1, 2022.

December 28, 2021   Canadian Plastics

In a bid to attract more skilled workers to Atlantic Canada, a pilot program established in 2017 is being made permanent.

Federal immigration minister Sean Fraser announced that, starting Jan. 1, 2022, the newly named Atlantic Immigration Program will initially offer 6,000 dedicated spots, with the allocation between the four Atlantic provinces yet to be determined.

“Originally launched in 2017, the Atlantic Immigration Pilot has now brought over 10,000 new permanent residents to Atlantic Canada,” Fraser said in a news release. “Participating employers have made over 9,800 job offers in key sectors, including health care, accommodations, food services and manufacturing.”

Most significantly, according to Fraser, over 90 per cent of applicants were still living in the region after one year, which is a “much higher retention rate” than other programs.

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The permanent program retains the three features that made the pilot such a success, Fraser said: a focus on employers, enhanced settlement support, and a collaborative approach across all Atlantic provinces. “Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada and the Atlantic provinces worked closely together to design the permanent program based on lessons learned and recommendations from the pilot evaluation,” he said. “The changes include clarifying roles between partners, increasing employer support through training and strengthening program requirements to ensure newcomers can successfully establish themselves in the region.”

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada is working with employers and provincial governments to ensure what they’re calling “a smooth transition” between the pilot and the permanent program.

Candidates with a valid endorsement can begin submitting applications for permanent residence under the new program on March 6, 2022.