Best known for sharing maple syrup, ice hockey and Celine Dion with the world, Canadians are looking across the pond for the British to help the nation out of a current skills shortfall fix.
The second largest country in the world, Canada is under pressure to recruit overseas to fill a growing skills shortage, with the UK a prime target. According to leading migration agent, VisaFirst.com , an estimated 13,000 Brits fled to Canada on employer-sponsored work permits in 2011. This figure is predicted to increase to at least 15,000 this year, with the company seeing twice the number of enquiries from Brits this year so far already.
The UK is in the top five countries to be granted work permits to Canada, with employers attracted by the shared native tongue and easily recognisable educational qualifications and trade certificates. When it comes to permanent resident visa grants to Canada, the UK ranks in the top four countries; in 2010 around 10,000 British were granted permanent resident visas, almost double the number in 2005. And it’s not just skilled trades and professionals getting in on the act - in the region of 1,500 British nationals head to Canada to study each year.
Occupations most in demand across Canada include carpenters, electricians, chefs, cooks, insurance claim examiners, crane operators, plumbers, welders and mechanics. All of these occupations are eligible to apply for a permanent skilled migration visa even without a job offer; all others will need a concrete offer to apply for a work permit or residency visa. The UK’s rising number of unemployed youth can take advantage of the working holiday visa option (for under 31 year olds), which also doesn’t require a job offer to snap up gainful employment in Canada.
The prairie province of Saskatchewan in Canada is one of the regions leading the recruitment drive, with a delegation recently despatched on a UK ‘milkround’ to fill thousands of vacancies. VisaFirst.com also has employers looking to fill positions in Alberta, where they are in need of truck mechanics, logistics professionals, HV electricians and power line workers and engineers.
"Employers have labour market approval already for these positions because there is no one there locally to fill these jobs,” says Edwina Shanahan, Director of VisaFirst.com.
VisaFirst.com says that the cap has already been reached for 11 occupations to be considered for skilled migration visa applications this year in Canada. They include restaurant and food service managers, biologists, architects, specialist physicians, general practitioners, dentists, pharmacists, registered nurses and social workers, all of which require a pre-arranged job offer.
"When you have been in Canada one year on a work permit we can organise permanent residency for you and your family,” says Shanahan. "So an immediate employment solution could also open the door to a new life abroad.”
Britain’s leading migration agent, VisaFirst.com handles in excess of 85,000 working holiday visa, business visa, tourist visa and employer sponsored visa applications each year. The company specialises in finding work and processing visa applications for a range of countries including Australia, New Zealand and Canada. Visit blog.visafirst.
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