P.E.I. encourages immigrants to train for in-demand jobs

New Immigrating to Canada guide available to newcomers to the province

P.E.I. encourages immigrants to train for in-demand jobs

Immigrants in Prince Edward Island whose work permits are set to expire in 2025 should consider signing up for a training program for in-demand occupations in the island, said the province’s minister of workforce, advanced learning and population.

"We have to think about those workforces that have those very pressured areas, that we do need to focus those allocations toward," said Jenn Redmond in a CBC report.

Current permanent resident (PR) nominees being re-trained in health care or construction would "mitigate the gaps in those areas to ensure that those who come can live on P.E.I. and have that wonderful life that we'd like everyone to have."

This comes as the provincial government continues to stick with its new immigration policy that has been under scrutiny from immigrants.

"We haven't made any commitment to changes," she told CBC. "We've committed to taking a very close look at the policy and continue to watch and monitor it… We want a positive impact here, that was the intention."

P.E.I reduces federal immigration nominations

In February, P.E.I. announced it would reduce its use of the allotted annual federal immigration nominations under the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) by 25% for 2024 to “relieve further pressures on public services and infrastructure”.

The remaining 75% of nominations will be redistributed to align with nine provincial sectors, with a strong emphasis on nominating skilled workers in health care, trades, childcare, and other key industries facing labour shortages, said the provincial government.

Because of this, immigrants who are already here and employed in other industries are worried their work permits may not be extended when they run out over the next few months.

P.E.I.’s Occupations in Demand stream is available to immigrants who have a full-time, non-seasonal permanent job offer from a PEI employer in one of the following lines of work:

  • NOC 33102 - Nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates;
  • NOC 73300 - Transport truck drivers;
  • NOC 75110 - Construction trades helpers and labourers;
  • NOC 65310 - Light duty cleaners;
  • NOC 95109 - Other labourers in processing, manufacturing and utilities;
  • NOC 75101 - Material handlers;
  • NOC 94140 - Process control and machine operators food and beverage processing); or
  • NOC 94141 - Industrial butchers and meat cutters, poultry preparers and related workers

Immigration rule hurting sales and service industry

P.E.I.’s new immigration rule is also hurting the province’s sales and service industry, the Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce said in the CBC report.

"Many of our members are experiencing the sudden departure of employees due to this immigration policy change and they will continue to see this impact as more employee work permits expire," said the chamber.

"Additionally, we've heard from members that because of this workforce impact, they will not be able to scale or expand their businesses and feel discouraged from investing further in P.E.I. Many will be forced to reduce product and service offerings as well as hours of operation."

Previously, the Summerside and Charlottetown chambers of commerce asked the P.E.I. government to reassess its immigration plan.

“It is imperative that any population plan takes into account the needs and concerns of the private sector, ensuring a balanced approach that supports economic growth while maintaining essential public services and growing infrastructure,” the two chambers noted.

New guide for immigrants in P.E.I.

Meanwhile, a recently launched document is providing necessary information to help newcomers in P.E.I. navigate living on the island.

Titled Immigrating to Canada: A Guide for Immigrants and Refugees Living on Prince Edward Island, the document answers common questions about Canadian immigration law, criminal law, healthcare, family law, sponsorship, and employment.

"This isn't just for brand-new newcomers," said Nicole Li of Justice Avenues, the Community Legal Information program that published the guide, in another CBC report. "[It's] also for some of the existing newcomers who maybe have been here for a couple years. They're still not 100% familiar, for example, with the justice system here in Canada."

The Community Legal Information program funded by Justice Canada provides legal support to racialized communities on the Island.

One of the purposes of the guide is to make sure that immigrants are aware of their rights as workers in Canada. The guide is available in seven languages: English, Arabic, French, Punjabi, Simplified Chinese, Spanish and Vietnamese.

Last month, P.E.I. announced it is offering up to $15,000 in grants through the Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) in Agriculture Housing Improvement Program to support agricultural operations in making improvements to accommodations designated for temporary foreign workers.

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