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Atlantic Provinces opt for a Program to Retain Foreign Students after Graduation

February 2018, 23
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Ahmed Hussen, Canadian Minister of Immigration, stated that keeping global students in the Atlantic Provinces is a huge challenge compared to other parts of the country.

A program designed to help international students, for staying and working in Nova Scotia, is on the path of adoption by other Atlantic provinces, with the aim to increase their population. Atlantic Canada had a retention rate of 60 percent for skilled immigrants compared 90 per cent in Alberta and Ontario.

He added that the regional extension of "Study and Stay" program of Nova Scotia will complement the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Project, taken up since 2016, and connects immigrants and companies, and is explicit regarding retaining people. Atlantic Canada has did not have a problem to attract skilled immigrants but faced a problem with retaining them.

These types of programs were important because they involved companies to help in establishing local roots for skilled workers and their families.

It honestly addresses a challenge which is acute in Atlantic Canada compared to the other areas of the country.

The Study and Stay Program of Nova Scotia, is an act of providing target oriented support and services to fifty global students who study in the final year of post-secondary studies.

This program guides the careers and helps in accessing events and workshops related to employment. It had a subsidy for helping local employers to reduce the cost of hiring a student for a working –term, on the completion of their graduation.

Karen Casey, Deputy Premier, Nova Scotia said the program received 700 inquiries from foreign students, and 49 were selected to participate in it. They expect to add more students each year. These numbers reveal that there is an interest, and, that it can be made to work for international students.

Officials stated that the Pilot Program would be made suitable for meeting the precise needs of other Atlantic provinces.

Wade MacLauchlan Premier P.E.I stated that it was vital for the Atlantic Provinces, to carry out required measures, which assist the population growth, resulting in the growth of the economy. There is a stress on relationships, and importance is being given, to the bio-cluster of companies on the Island, and for using skilled immigrants. These are driven by talent, and a lot of knowledge and relationships has come from the people who came to the region to pursue studies.

Dominic LeBlanc, Federal Minister for Fisheries stated that the Atlantic Immigration Pilot had designated 900 Atlantic Canadian companies, for employing international graduates and skilled foreign workers. The program had recruited 1,300 immigrants to the region and 1,100 of them had job offers, becoming eligible to apply for permanent residency.

The meeting discussed including Atlantic Canada's Ocean Supercluster, as an essential component of the, $950 million Super Clusters Initiative. It is meant to utilize the talents of companies, which work in areas like Fisheries, Marine Renewable Energy, Aquaculture, Defence and Shipbuilding and Oil and Gas.

The premiers and ministers announced they will undertake a Trade Mission to China in Nov 2018 for better relations in business and educational trade.

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