Op-Ed: Minister’s Employers Table

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By Michael Coteau *

 We need to make our immigration system work better for newcomers and provide the skills Ontario’s economy will need to stay strong and prosper.

The province’s birth rates are low and baby boomers are retiring. Over the next ten years alone, there will be more than 2.5 million job openings in Ontario. Immigration will be crucial in meeting this demand.

Ontario has many immigration programs in place to help skilled newcomers get the training and workplace experience they need to be successful — everything from language training to our Ontario Bridge Training program, which helps internationally-trained individuals get licenced and get jobs.

It is ultimately employers, however, that we count on to help newcomers find employment, so that they can start contributing to the economy. That makes job creators a key figure in the immigration equation and the focus of a recent milestone in the implementation of our immigration strategy.

Our new Minister’s Employers Table is a commitment to working with business leaders across the province to gather information that will help shape the future of the immigration system.

In the first year, our focus is on labour market gaps and challenges and discussing planned changes to the federal immigrant selection system scheduled for 2014.

Our goal is to better understand our employers’ labour market needs and develop new partnerships to work together. If we can do that, we can generate ideas for improving labour market outcomes for newcomers and create a better system overall.

We’re also creating a new award for employers – The Ontario Award for Leadership in Immigrant Employment. In three categories we want to recognize the significant role employers play in helping our immigrants achieve success. The first awards will be presented this year at the Ontario Economic Summit. Nominations will be open in early July.

Research continues to show the critical importance of immigration to our economy.

A recent study by The American Partnership for the New American Economy found that seven of the ten most valuable brands in the world including Apple, Google, AT&T and IBM come from companies founded by immigrants or the children of immigrants. The same study found that Fortune 500 companies founded by immigrants employ more than 10 million people worldwide.

As proof of the positive impact immigrants are having on the economy, almost half of Ontario’s wealthiest residents are new immigrants or the children of immigrants according to research done by the Bank of Montreal.

All of Ontario’s newcomers came here seeking hope and new opportunities for themselves and their families. I am proud that, with our new Employers Table, our government is

joining forces with job creators, so that future generations of immigrants can realize their dreams of a better life in Ontario as well.

* Michael Coteau is Ontario’s Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

JULY 2018

Vol. 12 - No. 12


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