New Brunswick capital city Fredericton is aiming to attract 1,000 new immigrants per year by implementing a new strategy.
The Fredericton Region Five-Year Strategy is designed to simplify the immigration process with a new online portal including a pre-arrival checklist and job search advice.
It plans to use existing pathways in a more streamlined way to help boost New Brunswick immigration.
The city hopes it can become a model for others looking to tackle aging populations and shrinking labour markets.
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Mayor Mike O’Brien says the aim is to ‘streamline the programs and procedures for the recruitment, retention, and settlement and integration of newcomers’.
A social media campaign called ‘We Speak Welcome’ has also been launched to help newcomers share their experiences.
Fredericton is the foremost destination for new immigrants in New Brunswick, welcoming 1,470 newcomers in 2018.
Central to the new strategy are international students and entrepreneur immigrants.
Where international students are concerned, it is about getting them to stay after graduation.
Officials believe that if half of the international students in the city chose to stay, they would reach the target number of newcomers easily.
The goal of the strategy is to have four work-age people for each person of retirement age by 2036.
The strategy has been split into three phases, with the first two taking place over the next two years, and the third within three to five years.
- Review and realignment of existing services.
- Focus on recruitment and retention of international students and entrepreneurs, plus communication activities and government advocacy.
- Focus on supporting broader newcomer groups and full community engagement.
The Multicultural Association of Fredericton (MCAF) will remain as the first point of contact for new immigrants to the city.
The MCAF provides settlement assistance, employment services, language classes and community connections.
Meanwhile, networking opportunities and government relations will be provided by the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce.
Lastly, Ignite Fredericton will focus on population growth, economic development and entrepreneurial support.
New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program
New Brunswick operates four streams through the New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program, targeting qualified candidates who meet specific economic and labour market needs in the province.
- Express Entry Labour Market.
- Skilled Worker With Employer Support.
- Post-Graduate Entrepreneurial.
The province also has access to the employer-led Atlantic Immigration Pilot, as well as the ability to welcome new immigrants through federal program.