It’s no secret that Canada is a country of immigrants. Aside from Indigenous Peoples (First Nations people, Métis and Inuit) who make up about 4.9% of the population, the vast majority of people in Canada are or are descended from immigrants. And our communities are richer for it. This month, Windmill Microlending is celebrating the role internationally-trained professionals play in keeping our communities vibrant, healthy and prosperous.
Here are just a few ways immigrants and refugees contribute to Canada’s wealth and well-being.
Skilled immigrants create vibrant communities
Coast to coast, Canada is sewn together with a rich cultural fabric that includes world foods, music, traditions and festivals. As more immigrants settle, they give Canadian communities flavour and flare. Being able to freely share and celebrate these diverse cultural practices leads to more meaningful relationships and fulfilling lives. In fact, it’s a source of pride for many Canadians. Our deep respect for cultural diversity, combined with progressive immigration policies, has put our country on the map as one of the most welcoming places in the world.
Skilled immigrants contribute to the economy
Canada may be a multicultural country, but it’s also an aging one. Over the next two decades, it’s estimated one quarter of the country’s population will be at least 65 years old. On top of that, the birth rate is declining. As more people reach retirement age, they’ll start collecting rather than contributing to taxpayer-funded systems like pensions and provincial health care. Skilled immigrants help solve this problem by plugging the age gap and paying taxes. Since most of the immigrants admitted into Canada in recent years are under 45 years old and highly educated, they also help solve another problem: a significant skilled labour shortage.
Skilled immigrants meet our labour market needs
Between now and 2040, 13.4 million people are projected to leave the workforce, but only 11.8 million will graduate school and join it — resulting in a significant shortfall of skilled labour. According to a study by the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), it’s a problem that’s only getting worse. The industries most impacted by the labour shortage, the BDC says, are manufacturing, construction and healthcare. Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic has put additional strain on Canada’s supply chain and health care system. Immigrants are answering the call and, in doing so, helping to close the skills gap and contribute to a healthy and prosperous Canada.
See related: Increased demand for health care workers
Continue your career in Canada
For immigrants to find gainful employment — and contribute to Canada’s success — it’s important their education, training and experience meet Canadian standards. But the cost of licensing or recertification can be insurmountable.
As Canada’s largest and most successful microlending program for immigrants and refugees, Windmill Microlending exists to unlock the potential of new Canadians and advance prosperity — for our clients and our country. We’ve helped countless newcomers transfer their skills to the Canadian labour market and achieve career success. Find out how we can help you too.
See related: Supporting refugees to reach their full potential