Canadian government seeking feedback for design of Global Skills Strategy

At Mississauga-based Therapure Biopharma, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains and Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Minister John McCallum revealed that the government is seeking feedback from companies and stakeholders as it builds its Global Skills Strategy.

BetaKit reported on the Global Skills Strategy in early November, which will set a processing standard of two weeks for work permit visas. The Strategy is also creating a Short Duration Work Permit exemption, which will apply to work terms of fewer than 30 days in a year, or brief academic stays.

“We know that when talented researchers, innovators, and leaders are able to provide their expertise, even temporarily, their work can have a multiplier effect on job creation,” said McCallum. “In the global competition for highly-skilled people, it is crucial that these types of workers can get here quickly.”

The Global Skills Strategy will also see the creation a dedicated service channel for companies looking to make large investments in Canada. “We’re creating a new institution, the Invest in Canada hub, whose job it will be to sell Canada to the world,” Finance Minister Bill Morneau said at the time of the initial Global Skills Strategy announcement.

“Business leaders have told me that attracting top global talent actually increases economic activity. One key hire can attract many others. This critical mass of talent enables the start-up of new companies,” said Bains. “I’m proud that the Government has listened to the concerns of business leaders. Tapping into a large pool of highly trained people – both in Canada, and abroad – will set this country up for success as a global innovation leader. And it will enable high-growth Canadian companies to develop more quickly into globally competitive successes. That’s how we will create well-paying jobs for all Canadians.”

The Global Skills Strategy is set to be implemented mid to late-2017.

“The Council of Canadian Innovators fully supports the fast-tracking of highly-skilled global talent. Our immigration system is now moving closer to the speed of the innovation economy and better allowing scale-ups to grow their companies within Canada,” said Benjamin Bergen, executive director of the Council of Canadian Innovators. “This type of collaboration between industry and government is exactly what is needed to ensure the success of the Innovation Agenda and to grow Canada’s economy.”

CCI, for its part, will be forming working groups with its member companies (which include Shopify, Hootsuite, and Axonify) within their organization, and working with their channels to facilitate discussions with the government.

BetaKit has reached out for clarification on how Canada’s business community can get involved in providing feedback.