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A curated resource of recent research on trends shaping Canada's labor market.

An immigration system for Canada’s future: Strengthening our communities

Key Takeaway
IRCC’s new whole-of-government strategy to reshape Canada’s immigration system creates a more welcoming experience, aligns with labour market needs, and includes developing a growth plan.


Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) unveiled a new strategy to “reshape Canada’s immigration system.” The plan sets out three primary objectives that are central to the country’s immigration vision:

1. Create a more welcoming experience for newcomers.

This entails addressing challenges that newcomers may face in navigating the immigration process. To that end, this part of the strategy outlines steps to improve service standards, reduce wait times for application reviews, and make the entire immigration process more user-friendly. The plan also aims to eliminate barriers faced by newcomers who are trying to integrate into Canada’s labour market. This will benefit Canada’s future growth and success, particularly for in-demand occupations.

2. Align immigration with labour market needs.

The IRCC strategy recognizes the importance of attracting and retaining top talent from across the globe to maintain Canada’s competitiveness in international markets. With that in mind, this part of the strategy emphasizes the need to streamline immigration pathways, making it easier for individuals with the desired skills and qualifications to come to Canada. Further, the strategy underscores that aligning immigration with labour market demands is essential for economic growth and innovation.

3. Develop a comprehensive and coordinated growth plan.

This aspect of the strategy seeks to integrate immigration planning at all levels of government. It emphasizes the importance of supporting communities; providing adequate housing, health care and infrastructure for newcomers; and positioning the immigration system to respond swiftly and equitably to global humanitarian crises.

By adopting a whole-of-government approach, the strategy aims to ensure that immigration not only contributes to economic growth, but also strengthens Canada’s social fabric.

October, 2023 | Griffiths, J., Lane, J.
Key Takeaway: Poor communication between the main players in Canada’s labour market is causing mismatches between the skills that businesses need and the skills that workers have. A competency-based system could be the solution.
November, 2023 | Li, V., Hamza, M., Kwok, T
Key Takeaway: The rise of remote work has boosted demand for the basic digital skills that are needed for many jobs in the modern workforce. AI and the increasing use of big data will increase employers’ demands for digital know-how.
November, 2023 | Mahboubi, P., Zhang, T.
Key Takeaway: Canadian businesses have sought short-term solutions to labour shortages—but several tactics are required.
October, 2023 | Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)
Key Takeaway: IRCC’s new whole-of-government strategy to reshape Canada’s immigration system creates a more welcoming experience, aligns with labour market needs, and includes developing a growth plan.
October, 2023 | Dennler, K.
Key Takeaway: Canada has seen a significant rise in the number of immigrants choosing to leave the country, signaling a growing issue with long-term immigrant retention
November, 2023 | Picot, G., Crossman, E., Hou, F.
Key Takeaway: Immigrants who arrive through Canada’s Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) are less likely to remain in Canada—but those who do stay are more likely to remain in the province they originally settled in.
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