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Recruiting Immigrant Workers: Canada 2019

image of Recruiting Immigrant Workers: Canada 2019

Canada has not only the largest in terms of numbers, but also the most elaborate and longest-standing skilled labour migration system in the OECD. Largely as a result of many decades of managed labour migration, more than one in five people in Canada is foreign-born, one of the highest shares in the OECD. 60% of Canada’s foreign-born population are highly educated, the highest share OECD-wide. The recent introduction of Express Entry, a two-step selection system based on an initial pre-sreening of suitable candidates who enter a pool by Expression of Interest and subsequent selection of the most skilled candidates from the pool, has further enhanced the competitive edge of the selection system relative to other countries. It also ensures that those with the skills to succeed are admitted to Canada in a quick and efficient way. Core to Canada's success is not only the elaborate selection system itself, but also the innovation and infrastructure around it, which ensures constant testing, monitoring and adaptation of its parameters. This includes a comprehensive and constantly improving data infrastructure, coupled with the capacity to analyse it, and swift policy reaction to new evidence and emerging challenges.

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Foreword

This review of Canada’s labour migration policy is the tenth in a series conducted by the OECD Secretariat as a follow-up to the 2009 High Level Policy Forum on International Migration. The rationale for this initiative was the recent growth in labour migration observed in many countries and the likelihood that recourse to labour migration would increase in the context of demographic ageing. Prior to the global economic crisis of the late 2000s, many countries had made substantial changes to labour migration policies with a view to facilitating recruitment from abroad. With the introduction of these changes, more prominence was accorded to the question of their effectiveness, and more broadly to the objectives of labour migration policy in general. Although the economic crisis put a damper on labour migration movements, it did not stop them entirely, and interest in labour migration policy is unlikely to diminish in the near future.

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