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The announcement was made by Minister of State fir Multiculturalism and ITF Chair John Yap, at an event held at the Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Vancouver.

The report mentioned above was compiled after the ITF conducted eight regional consultations involving a wide range of stakeholders and industry experts, as well as comments and suggestions submitted by the general public.

Through the use of the consultation process, the ITF was made aware directly from employers that if more skilled workers are not immediately drawn to B.C., businesses may have to face the choice of relocation or even close, resulting in less jobs and opportunities for British Columbians.

Minister of Multiculturalism and ITF Chair John Yap talked about the immediate requirement for skilled workers.

“Travelling across the province, hearing stories from a range of employers about the challenges they are facing filling jobs in all types of industries impressed upon the task force the immediate and overwhelming need to bring in more skilled immigrants to B.C. through a more efficient and responsive system.”

The final report contains a variety of key recommendations for B.C., including the immediate increase of immigration levels to B.C., grow and expand the B.C. Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), ensure a straight forward and efficient economic immigration program application and to capitalize on B.C. as a destination of choice for entrepreneurs and investors.  

The report also claims the need to provide timely, effective information and support to newcomers and employers.

According to the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation, the province has already begun to take immediate action to fill job vacancies from Fort Nelson to Mackenzie through the introduction of the Northeast Pilot Project, which will expand the scope of the B.C. PNP to include more eligible occupations throughout the region.

This pilot project responded to ITF consultations in Fort St. John, where employers confirmed the immense need to recruit and retain more temporary workers to fill existing job openings.

Yap says “I look forward to working with my provincial and federal colleagues to implement changes to the programs available to B.C. so that our province can attract the talented immigrants needed in an increasingly competitive global fight for human capital.”

The province will now work with the federal government to expedite higher PNP levels for B.C. and ensure continual reforms to national immigration programs that respond to the province’s regional economic development needs.

To view the complete final report, click here.

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