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Recruiting Immigrant Workers: Canada 2019

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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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Executive summary

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 percentage OECD-wide. A broad range of settlement services for labour migrants and their families, both pre- and post-arrival, complement the system and overall integration outcomes of migrants and their native-born children are better than in most other OECD countries. Against this backdrop, Canada is widely seen as a role model for successful migration management.

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