PREMIER ANNOUNCES IMPROVEMENTS TO MANITOBA PROVINCIAL NOMINEE PROGRAM
– – – Program Renewal will Strengthen Economy, Address Labour Market Needs: Premier
BRANDON—Enhancements to the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP) will improve processing times and fast-track nominations to provide job-ready, skilled workers, including international students, with opportunities to build a prosperous future in Manitoba, Premier Brian Pallister announced today.
“Immigration is a driver of economic growth, a way to address targeted labour market needs and a gateway for innovation in our economy,” said the premier. “The renewal of Manitoba’s Provincial Nominee Program will ensure our province continues to attract skilled workers and entrepreneurs with the potential to make the strongest contributions to our economy soon after their arrival in Canada.”
The MPNP has made significant contributions to Manitoba’s economy since its introduction in 1998, the premier said.
The premier noted the changes announced today are part of a new Labour Market Strategy for Immigration that focuses on:
innovative partnerships with industry and post-secondary institutions that build pathways to employment for international students and skilled newcomers, including those in regulated occupations, to better prepare and match them to in-demand jobs in Manitoba;
the selection of skilled workers with high potential for early and strong attachment to the labour market and who meet education, training and language requirements;
the selection of entrepreneurs with a strong potential to establish high-investment, job-creating businesses in all regions of the province; and
the elimination of the current MPNP backlog by April 2017 to ensure all future applicants receive a higher standard of service and are processed in less than six months.
The premier said that Manitoba will work with the government of Canada to improve the speed with which visa applications are processed.
In addition, revenue generated by new application fees for skilled workers and existing fees for business applicants will be re-invested into improving program service standards, performance measurement and services to support the economic integration of immigrants and refugees at no additional cost to Manitobans, the premier noted.
Manitoba’s most recent labour market forecast projects 177,800 job openings in the province between now and 2021, with demand spread across multiple sectors including business, finance, services, trades and transportation, agri-business and rural health care. At least 25 per cent of projected job-openings are expected to be filled by immigrants, the premier said.
“Manitoba is once again open for business, offering a diverse economic base with areas of undiscovered potential ready for the expansion of existing businesses, development of our entrepreneurial talent, and attraction of new investment and the opportunities it will bring,” said Pallister. “Renewing Manitoba’s Provincial Nominee Program will facilitate the inclusion of skilled immigrant workers as an integral part in the development of our labour market and Manitoba’s economy as a whole.”
An annual MPNP nomination plan that prioritizes skills and job creation will be updated quarterly to regularly communicate Manitoba’s labour market priorities to potential applicants starting in April 2017, the premier said. He noted the program will be continuously monitored, evaluated and improved to ensure ongoing responsiveness to Manitoba’s economic and labour market needs, in partnership with industry and training organizations.
“Over the past number of years, Brandon has welcomed many newcomers to Canada thanks to the Provincial Nominee Program, all of whom have contributed in their own ways to the current diversity of our workforce and our local economy,” said Mayor Rick Chrest, City of Brandon. “We welcome changes to the Provincial Nominee Program that will further enhance the process for newcomers and businesses in the future.”