Hire international talent

Hire international talent

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This is a guest post from Halifax Partnership
(Member since 1996)


John Rogers, Interim President & CEO, Halifax Partnership

Finding the perfect candidate for a vacant job is a challenge faced by employers across many industries.

The Atlantic Immigration Pilot (AIP) — created in partnership by the Government of Canada and the four Atlantic provinces — is a fast-track employer-focused program that supports businesses in filling labour gaps. Through AIP, local employers of any size and in any industry can hire international graduates and skilled foreign nationals, bringing the best talent to their team.

The first step in the process of accessing a global pool of talent through AIP is to become designated by the provincial government. This means that an employer commits to working with a settlement services provider to help applicants (international graduates and foreign nationals) and their families be successful in Canada.

Nova Scotian employers are embracing AIP and using it to find the best talent for their labour needs. There are currently 744 designated employers in Nova Scotia — and in 2018, our province exceeded its allotted 800 AIP placements, welcoming 872 foreign nationals.

AIP aligns with Halifax’s Economic Growth Plan 2016-2021 vision of a population of 550,000 and a GDP of $30 billion by 2031. Halifax’s population is not increasing at a high enough rate to sustain our growth toward this goal. In order to maintain strong economic growth for our region, we need to ensure more immigrants are coming into our city every year to build their lives and careers here and support business growth.

The Halifax Partnership, with support from the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration and ACOA, is helping businesses navigate the AIP designation process. Our AIP Account Executives meet with employers, address concerns and myths about immigration and connect them to contacts and resources at the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration. They continue to support employers after they find a candidate to help them navigate the next step of AIP, the endorsement process.

Key benefits of becoming a designated employer:

  • International graduates from Atlantic Canadian universities and colleges can be hired immediately following graduation
  • AIP speeds up processing at the federal level and provides candidates a work permit while waiting for Permanent Residency
  • Employers can skip the Labour Market Impact Assessment
  • Employers gain access to a dedicated account manager at Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)

To date, the Partnership has referred 169 companies for designation, 70 of which have already been designated. Two companies we’ve worked with directly, POLYCORP and Scotiabank, have completed the full AIP process and have hired foreign national employees who have obtained their Permanent Residency. The feedback we have received so far is that the AIP process is faster and easier than expected.

If your company is struggling to find talent, AIP may be the solution. The Partnership’s Account Executives would be happy to meet with you and discuss the AIP and designation process.

< Back to Articles | Topics: Trends

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