Mr Kenney yesterday spoke extensively about FSW Visa changes .....below are exact speaking notes related to FSW
Federal Skilled Worker Program
As many of you know, our main economic immigration program has traditionally been the Federal Skilled Worker Program. In fact, more immigrants still come to Canada through this program than through any other.
And what it does is encapsulated very well by its name: It is a federal program that selects skilled workers to become permanent residents, based on criteria that correlate with their ability to become economically established in Canada.
Pre-2008 FSW Backlog Elimination
For the immigration system in general – but especially for the Federal Skilled Worker program – one of the greatest challenges comes from the large backlogs of applications that have accumulated in the system.
The reason they have accumulated is a matter of simple math. In some immigration programs, the number of applications we receive each year far surpasses the number that we have decided to process and admit, consistent with Canada's needs.
Not only this, but prior to legislative amendments that our government made in 2008, the law required Canadian officials to process every single application they received.
More applications than admissions create a surplus of applications, that we were required by law to process. Surpluses year after year become a backlog.
And a backlog means wait times as new applicants have to wait until earlier applicants are processed – wait times that were extending to six or seven years, or longer.
Since 2008, we've limited the intake of new applications to occupations that are in high demand and to applicants with qualifying job offers. This has helped us to reduce the backlog of pre-2008 applications by half, from more than 600,000.
But the fact is that we still have a backlog of nearly 300,000 skilled worker applications, and wait times of several years, rather than months.
Until we solve this issue, we can't get to where our economic immigration system needs to be.
Measures proposed in our Economic Action Plan 2012 will help align the system more closely with our economic needs.
They will enable Canada to eliminate the large backlog of old federal skilled worker applications that is gumming up our immigration system.
We are closing the applications and returning fees to all affected individuals.
We understand that these individuals will likely be disappointed, and I regret the impact on individual applicants who have waited patiently in long queues. But Canada's interest must be my priority, and we cannot wait until 2017 or beyond to fix this problem.
Of course, applicants whose fees and applications are returned may reapply under the terms of the new FSW program, or any other programs for which they may qualify, such as the Provincial Nominee Programs or the Canadian Experience Class.
If they possess the skills Canada needs now, they are likely to receive much faster processing than they would have by simply waiting in the backlog – new FSW applications are processed within 12 months.
By moving quickly to eliminate this longstanding backlog, we will be able to shift our processing priority towards newer federal skilled worker applicants who will be evaluated under a new points system that will better ensure they have the current, in-demand skills that our economy needs.
This will, I believe, transform the system.
Potential Creation of a Pool of Skilled Workers
In recent months, I have spoken about going further in the future than just passively accepting immigration applications. I have talked about the need to actively recruit people to come to Canada to fill specific skills shortages.
As we move toward a “just in time” immigration system, we are looking at international best practices in this regard.
In recent years, New Zealand and Australia – countries with immigration systems similar to ours – have made their systems nimbler, more flexible and more responsive to modern labour-market realities.
Like us, New Zealand legislated an end to its backlog in 2003 and put in place a system where prospective applicants can be selected from a pool made up of prospective immigrants with the skills, experience and education that are most needed in that country.
Australia is introducing a similar system this year.
Rather than having to process all applications, regardless of whether an applicant's skills match current labour market needs, their resources can now be put towards actively matching the best recently qualified applicants to current economic needs and even to specific companies, who can use the pool of applicants as a pool of prospective recruits.
One of the lessons from New Zealand's experience with a “just in time” system, is that backlogs do not accumulate, because there is no obligation to process every application, only those of the skilled workers selected from the pool of applicants for immigration.
We want to explore with provinces, territories and employers approaches to developing a similar pool of skilled workers who are ready to begin employment in Canada.
The goal would be a simplified and expedited immigration process that selects the applicants with the best and most in-demand qualifications and, at the same time, eliminates the scourge of backlogs, which, as we have seen, can bring an immigration system nearly to a standstill.
FSWP Points System
As we explore options for a more significant overhaul of the applications system in the coming years, we are already taking steps to improve our economic immigration system in other ways.
We are currently working to improve the points system for our Federal Skilled Worker program to bring it more in line with the needs of our modern economy.
In 2010, we completed an extensive evaluation of the FSW program which suggested that overall it is working well and selecting immigrants who perform well economically.
It also showed that selecting applicants based on human capital criteria has led to dramatically improved outcomes.
“Human capital criteria” is one of those terms that policy wonks and officials use, and which politicians love to throw about because it sounds clever and cutting edge. Really, it's an unfortunately impersonal bit of jargon for very important, very personal attributes.
Here is one example: Official language proficiency. The data clearly show that skilled immigrants who speak French or English well will be more successful in the Canadian job market. Not only will they be better positioned for their first job, they will also be more resilient if they are laid off and have to find another job, perhaps even in a different field.
Beyond this, another strong indicator of success is pre-arranged employment. Skilled workers do better if they immigrate to Canada with a job offer in hand.
In fact, our data show that federal skilled workers with an arranged employment offer earned an average salary of $79,200 three years after landing, compared to $44,200 for those without.
This is common sense, but our current points table does not adequately reflect this fact.
So we need to simplify the process for employers to hire the skilled workers they need and to get them here sooner.
Based in part on our extensive data on outcomes for skilled workers, and also on recently-completed public consultations, we intend to propose changes in coming weeks to the selection criteria that will include more emphasis on language ability, youth, arranged employment, and other factors that experience has shown are good predictors of success.
Our goal is to have a better FSW program in place by the end of this year.
Another notable change is coming to the FSW program. We intend to create, for the first time, a separate stream for skilled tradespersons, which would allow these applicants to be assessed based on criteria geared to the reality of their specific qualifications rather than false hopes, putting more emphasis on practical training and work experience rather than formal education.
I am talking about workers in construction, transportation, manufacturing and service industries that are in high demand in Canada, particularly in the natural resources and construction sectors.
During our consultations last year on improving the Federal Skilled Worker Program, stakeholders agreed that changes were necessary to make the program more accessible to tradespersons, who have traditionally been disadvantaged due to criteria in the points grid that is better suited to professionals.
So we are taking concrete steps to do a better job of welcoming skilled tradespersons to the country.
Foreign Credential Recognition
One issue that touches economic immigrants across all of our different programs, and one I hear about everywhere I travel, is Foreign Credential Recognition.
Canada needs immigrants who are ready, willing, and able to fully integrate into Canada's labour market, particularly where there are existing skills shortages.
But we also need to make sure the skilled immigrants we choose are the ones Canada in fact needs and that, once they arrive here, that they are able to put their skills to use.
Nous devons nous assurer que les immigrants qualifiés que nous choisissons sont ceux dont le Canada a besoin et qui ont les meilleures chances de réussir une fois qu'ils sont établis au pays.
One of the historical mistakes we need to correct is the common situation where skilled immigrants come to Canada only to discover too late that their credentials aren't recognized here or require significant investments of time and money to be brought up to Canadian standards.
Economic Action Plan 2012 commits us to continue our work with provinces, territories, regulatory bodies and national associations, to speed up and streamline the credential recognition process for regulated professions, creating – as much as possible – a common national approach for the assessment of foreign credentials.
This collaborative process is called the Pan-Canadian Framework for the Assessment and Recognition of Foreign Qualifications. It's a long name for something with a simple goal: To give applicants for licences in fourteen target occupations an answer, within a year of applying, on whether their credentials will be recognized or whether they need more training.
To date, we have processes in place for eight regulated occupations, and an additional six are currently working to meet the Framework's principles by December.
Eventually, as part of the transformational changes that we are looking at making to our immigration program, we would like to propose moving to a mandatory assessment of foreign educational credentials as part of the selection process for Federal Skilled Worker Program applicants.
This would mean that, before we accept them, applicants would be required to have their educational credentials assessed by a designated and qualified third party to determine their value in Canada. They would then only receive credit for their qualifications if they are equal to Canadian qualifications.
It's important to note here that the process I am describing is separate from the more in-depth assessments that regulatory bodies use to license professionals from other countries.
In an ideal world, applicants would come to Canada with their qualifications fully recognized and fully accredited, or at least well on the way to accreditation by Canadian licensing bodies, to allow them to integrate immediately into their profession in Canada.
But that is a long term project, and one that will require the provinces and independent licensing bodies to step up and work closely with us.
In the meantime, we need to at least give people some comfort before they arrive in Canada that their degree will be considered equivalent to a Canadian degree, so they can have realistic expectations when they arrive, and so Canada can be sure we are bringing in people who have the tools to succeed.
Our goal with this change is to better select immigrants, so they can hit the ground running once they arrive by integrating quickly into our labour market.
Thanks MNI for sharing this info,
Some points are cleare by the speech of Mr Kenney for the FSW progeam, those are follows,
1.there will be change in language ability, youth, arranged employment, and other factors that experience has shown are good predictors of success.
2. there will different selection criteria for the Trade ppl.
3.there will be must credential assessment for the 14 occupation (To date, we have processes in place for eight regulated occupations, and an additional six are currently working to meet the Framework's principles by December). But in another paragraph he mentioned that "Eventually, as part of the transformational changes that we are looking at making to our immigration program, we would like to propose moving to a mandatory assessment of foreign educational credentials as part of the selection process for Federal Skilled Worker Program applicants.
This would mean that, before we accept them, applicants would be required to have their educational credentials assessed by a designated and qualified third party to determine their value in Canada. They would then only receive credit for their qualifications if they are equal to Canadian qualifications"
though it's not clear that will it be applicable for all the NOC or for the 14 occupation mentioned in his speech from this July or it will be establish from letter on.
4. Arrage employment is thing they are looking for.
5.They will follow the JIT (just in time) process as its already implemented by New Zealand and Aussis will start the similar process from this year.
Though they are saying it will be simple process but to me it will be bit tough for all of us.