Welcoming talent to Halifax

Welcoming talent to Halifax

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Wendy Luther, President and CEO, Halifax Partnership

Halifax has a compelling value proposition to attract businesses here: a strategic location in North America that is also close to Europe, cost competitiveness, an emerging innovation district, excellent quality of life and on top of all this, a talent pipeline that is skilled, diverse and deep.

We have seen record-breaking population growth over the past few years. One of the main reasons for this growth is the increased number of immigrants and international students who are choosing to call Halifax home, bringing even more skilled talent to our city. While reading the 2019 Halifax Index, released by the Partnership earlier this year, one of the things that struck me about the data is that we welcomed 8,544 new residents to Halifax last year and almost 65 per cent of these individuals join us from outside of Canada. This population growth is impressive, but what is truly remarkable is that at the same time, our unemployment rate is 5.9 per cent —
the lowest it has been since 2008.

To quote our partners at the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration, we have “room to grow,” in Nova Scotia and in Halifax. We need all of the people who moved to Halifax last year, plus just as many to join us this year, next year and every year between now and 2031 to achieve our Economic Growth Plan goals of a population of 550,000 and GDP of $30 billion by 2031.

As a business leader, there are a number of programs that can help you tap into this incoming stream of talent and potentially find your next hire.

Employers in Nova Scotia can use the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (AIP) to hire international workers and graduates to fill immediate labour needs. AIP speeds up processing at the federal level and gives candidates a work permit while waiting for permanent residency, allowing you to skip the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) process if your efforts to hire locally have been unsuccessful.

The Connector Program matches new immigrants and recent graduates (Connectees) in Halifax with established business leaders (Connectors) like you. This networking program is as simple as having a cup of coffee and a chat and then sharing three contacts from your network that your Connectee can also get in touch with, helping to build their professional network and increasing their chances of finding meaningful employment in Halifax.

I am a Halifax resident by choice and I am grateful to the people who helped me feel welcome and connected in this city. The thousands of newcomers each year who make the same choice I did want to build their careers and lives here. They want their talent and expertise to help you grow your business or to become an entrepreneur that will develop an innovative product or service to benefit us all.

Let’s continue to work together to welcome newcomers, connect them to opportunities and help them become part of our community — because we need them to be. Together we can drive inclusive growth and success across our great city. We all benefit from being a welcoming city.

< Back to Articles | Topics: Guest Post

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