Ontario pledges additional $15.1 million to attract skilled immigrants to plug labour shortage
April 28, 2022 By Don Horne
Queen’s Park is investing an additional $15.1 million over three years to improve and expand the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP). The investment builds on the recently-launched entrepreneurship pilot and will try and attract the skilled immigrants needed to fill labour gaps when local workers are not available.
“Newcomers are crucial to growing our economy and building a stronger future for all of us,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development. “We’re lowering the barriers they face and have called on our partners in the federal government to double the number of newcomers Ontario can select in 2022. By investing in the future success of this program, we’re not resting until everyone in Ontario who wants to earn a paycheque is able to do so.”
This new investment will hopefully allow the program to grow, enhance security and fraud detection and other IT updates to ensure the system can handle increased capacity now and in the future. Nominating newcomers to work in Ontario will attempt to fill jobs in health care, computer programming, web development and trucking.
While almost 120,000 economic class immigrants to Canada arrived in 2021, only 9,000 newcomers were nominated through the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program in that year. An increased nomination allocation may allow Ontario to fill targeted labour market gaps across the province and drive overall economic growth. This is why Minister McNaughton continues to call on federal Immigration officials to double Ontario’s allocation for the coming year.
This announcement follows changes the Ontario government made this winter and fall, such as launching an entrepreneur pilot program to attract 100 international entrepreneurs to start or grow businesses in regions outside of the Greater Toronto Area. These applications received through the pilot project will be processed on an expedited basis to help fast track job creation opportunities.
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