An innovative approach to immigration

An innovative approach to immigration

< Back to Articles | Topics: Member Profile

Contributors:

Mina Atia
Communications Coordinator

Back in November, Business Voice interviewed Minister of Immigration, Lena Metlege Diab, for a story on the significance of immigration. We know that immigration is a priority for government, and we learned through the interview just how significant newcomers are to the health and diversity of our communities across the province.

Newcomers settling in Nova Scotia help strengthen urban and rural communities, increase our diversity, and contribute to the province’s economic and population growth.

To be able to attract newcomers to the province, Nova Scotia’s Office of Immigration looks at innovative ways to appeal to potential newcomers and to help them make Nova Scotia their home.

Their innovative programming approach is proving successful. The province approved a record number of applications for newcomers in 2020, 3517 compared to 2780 in 2019.

Since many sectors are experiencing persistent labour shortages, immigration remains one of the ways the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration is helping employers hire qualified individuals to fill these needs and often engages with businesses and community partners to identify immigration opportunities.

“Through our Nova Scotia Provincial Nominee Program and the Atlantic Immigration Pilot we have been able to increase immigration and help fill labour shortages,” says Shelley Bent James, Executive Director, Nova Scotia Office of Immigration.

The Nova Scotia Nominee Program and Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program address labour gaps in the province and by helping to attract immigrants to fulfill those needs in workplaces and communities across the province.

“The work of our office supports employers looking for the skilled talent they need and are unable to find locally, particularly those working in essential service sectors,” says Bent James. “Our Employer Support team is available to speak with any employer about how our programs may help to address to their labour concerns.”

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We work with and support settlement service providers who play an important role welcoming newcomers and ensuring they have the supports they need to build their lives here.” — Shelley Bent James, Executive Director, Nova Scotia Office of Immigration

“When the COVID-19 pandemic challenged us in March, we adapted very quickly and used technology to continue providing employer and client support,” says Bent James. “We continued to process applications, with a focus on people living and working in Canada, as well as essential services including health care and transportation” says Bent James.

The COVID pandemic has had an impact on immigration. Depending on travel restrictions and federal government immigration processing, skilled workers and their families are expected to arrive in the province over the next few years. These newcomers are key to reinvigorating communities and contributing to the overall provincial economy.

Access to settlement supports aids in the retention of newcomers, and NSOI works with other partners to ensure there is access in communities across the province to provide the support that is needed.

“We work with and support settlement service providers who play an important role welcoming newcomers and ensuring they have the supports they need to build their lives here,” says Bent James.

Immigration increases our diversity and strengthens our province’s communities. The Nova Scotia Office of Immigration continues to adapt to the needs of the province and encourages people to come to Nova Scotia to start their new lives.

Our province’s economic prosperity and growth will look to immigration to help Nova Scotia’s recovery post COVID-19 as we anticipate there will still be occupations that cannot be filled locally.

While there are challenges with individuals arriving in our province due to current travel and border restrictions, we expect the interest in Nova Scotia to continue, and we look forward to continuing to welcome newcomers to all parts of the province when it is safe to do so. ■

< Back to Articles | Topics: Member Profile

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