British Columbia expands Provincial Nominee program to bring in more foreign workers

Canadian province, British Columbia, has announced a new pilot project to bring more immigrant workers to its Peace River Regional District. They hope the plan will help fix the region's severe worker shortage.

The new initiative, designed to expand British Columbia's Provincial Nominee Program, will be called the Northeast Pilot Project. The British Columbia government hopes that it will attract foreign workers to jobs of all skill levels.

"This is all part of the jobs strategy to support the jobs plan," said John Yap, Chair of the British Columbia's Immigration Task Force in an announcement at Fort St. John. "All kinds of jobs. Skilled, semi- skilled, to help support the economy here in the northeast."

Currently the province's employers are restricted to choose between twenty-two entry level and skilled occupations to qualify for the Provincial Nominee Program. Under the Northeast Pilot Project the number of occupations would be increased to over one hundred, and include positions such as mine service workers, heavy equipment operators and retail workers.

"First of all, the occupations have expanded dramatically, secondly there's a key person that the businesses can go to for assistance, and thirdly the timeline that it takes to get approval for these immigrants to come to Canada and become permanent residence," said Fort St. John Mayor Lori Ackerman.

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