International Careers Fair in Nova Scotia matches Canadian immigrants with local businesses

Nova Scotia held an International Careers Fair in Halifax on 6 March 2012 that attracted many new immigrants looking for jobs in the province.

Hundreds of job seekers attended the job fair to meet with nearly 80 local businesses to see what job opportunities were available. Nova Scotia held the event to connect skilled immigrants, international graduates, and temporary foreign workers with local businesses.

The province is facing a looming shortage of skilled workers; Connecting immigrants with local companies is becoming increasingly important.

"By 2015, the demand for skilled workers will outstrip the supply," said Elizabeth Mills, executive director of the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration. "Employers need to start now. Immigration is not an instant thing; it doesn't happen overnight. They need workers who have multi-language abilities, workers with networks abroad and cultural and business savvy to do business internationally."

Mills noted that while the local talent pool now meets most employers' needs, the impending labour shortage will require more immigration. She added that hiring newcomers can be beneficial for companies because many immigrants tend to have a tremendous drive to succeed.

"I've heard it said and I see it in their faces: Failure is not an option for them. They come here with great expectations and they invest so much of their own talent, energy and resources," said Mills.

Universities in the province have also helped with the international search for talent.

"Universities in Nova Scotia have taken on a much more aggressive approach to marketing abroad. It's great because those international students who graduate here already have the right credentials employers want," she said.

Many people may not qualify for this program as there are only a limited number of occupations on the occupation list, but if you are interested in immigrating to Canada under the Federal Skilled Worker Program eligible applicants must:
  • have a valid offer of arranged employment, OR
  • have the necessary skills and one year of continuous full-time paid work experience in at least one of the occupations on the shortage occupation list, OR
  • be an international student enrolled in a PhD program in Canada (or graduated from a Canadian PhD program within the past 12 months) and meet certain criteria.
Once your application is submitted to Canadian Immigration and Citizenship, it will be processed according to the six selection factors in the skilled worker points grid, which are:
  • your education
  • your abilities in English and/or French
  • your work experience
  • your age
  • whether you have arranged employment in Canada, and
  • your adaptability
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