Manitoba premier Brian Pallister has announced enhancements to the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP) that 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 the province.
In the announcement, the minister is quoted as saying: “Immigration is a driver of economic growth, a way to address targeted labour market needs and a gateway for innovation in our economy. 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 premier noted the changes announced to the MPNP, which he says has made significant contributions to Manitoba’s economy since its introduction in 1998, 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;
- 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 province reportedly will work with the government of Canada to improve the speed with which visa applications are processed.
In addition, the release says 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.
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.