International Student Retention Program
New Brunswick and the other Atlantic provinces will roll out a program that has already been piloted by Nova Scotia, it was announced Tuesday. The program, part of the seeks to retain foreign students at Atlantic Canadian universities and colleges.
MONCTON – This will be done by providing services for mentorship, language and soft-skill enhancements.
Federal Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Ahmed Hussen said the program complements the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program launched in January 2017. Together, they aim to solve the region’s immigrant retention problem.
“One of the key streams in the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program is the stream targeting international students because they are excellent candidates to become permanent residents and eventually citizens,” he said at a press conference Tuesday.
‘These are people who have post-secondary education, they’re going through our great institutions here, they have work experience and they have proficiency in one or both of our official languages. And because Atlantic Canada has many – so many – high-quality post-secondary institutions, attracting and retaining international students is an important element of the immigration story of this region.”
So far, 900 companies in the region have been designated to employ skilled foreign workers and international graduates under the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program. The initiative has recruited more than 1,300 skilled immigrants and international students, while more than 1,100 workers have received job offers and can apply for permanent residency, said Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard.
Hussen said the programs make Atlantic Canada more competitive in the global competition for talent. They encourage employers to help workers immigrate with their families and provide quicker and easier paths to permanent residency.
In its pilot Study and Stay program, Nova Scotia received inquiries from 700 interested students, with 49 selected to take part in the first cohort.
Karen Casey, the Deputy Premier of Nova Scotia and Minister of Finance and Treasury Board, said the province plans to add more. She said the program will be amended to fit with each province’s needs.
“We certainly want to make sure as a result of this expansion that the provinces here can build on, but modify the program to meet the needs within their own province, other provinces would do that as well.”
P.E.I. Premier Wade MacLauchlan said the program will be implemented in the next academic year. Funding will come from the provinces, the federal government and ACOA.