The Province is responding to the crucial need for more health-care workers and early childhood educators (ECEs).
Changes will be implemented for the B.C. Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) Skills Immigration stream that prioritizes these occupations and increases support for the care economy.
“We’re taking steps to ensure the Provincial Nominee Program is meeting the needs of British Columbians today and into the future,” said Nathan Cullen, Minister of Municipal Affairs. “By placing a greater focus on skilled workers in the care economy, we’re helping attract talent from around the world committed to delivering the essential services we all rely on.”
The B.C. PNP Skills Immigration stream supports employers to meet their workforce needs and complements B.C.’s Economic Plan and is a key pillar of the StrongerBC Economic Plan to tackle inequality and grow an economy that works for everyone. These changes prioritize health-care workers and ECEs in the application process and will increase the number of people nominated in these occupations for permanent residence. Changes also immediately provide a pathway to permanent residence for people already living in B.C. and working in these sectors.
“Health-care assistants who support seniors in long-term care, assisted living and in their homes are among the most in-demand occupations in British Columbia, both today and for years to come,” said Terry Lake, CEO, BC Care Providers Association. “These important changes to the Provincial Nominee Program will help to meet the growing needs of the care economy, which in turn will benefit B.C. seniors and those who care for them.”
Health-care assistants are newly eligible to apply for the PNP program, and along with ECEs, they will now be given priority access. This change will give people with these skill sets a better chance for acceptance under the program’s eligibility criteria.
Candidates whose occupation is on a pre-determined list of in-demand health occupations, and who have a qualified, permanent job offer in B.C., will be given priority access to the PNP.
“The changes to expand the health authority category will significantly improve PHSA’s ability to recruit and retain workforce in our specialized occupations,” said Derek Menard, talent acquisition adviser, Provincial Health Services Authority. “These changes will benefit our future international hires in clinical roles previously not included in the health-care category along with non-clinical roles.”
The Province is also expanding the health authority category to include any occupation, so health authorities will be in a better position to recruit and retain workers.
Other changes to the skills immigration categories include clarifying or adjusting criteria to align with government economic priorities and strengthening program integrity, to best support qualified applicants for success.
As the only immigration program under provincial control, the PNP enables the Province to directly select qualified, prospective immigrants and nominate them and their families for permanent residency. The Province will continue to assess this program to ensure it is aligned with recovery efforts to support stronger, more resilient communities.
The StrongerBC Economic Plan moves British Columbia forward by tackling the challenges of today, while growing an economy that works for everyone. The plan sets two main goals for the province – inclusive growth and clean growth – and puts forward six missions to keep B.C. on track by closing the skills gap, building resilient communities, and helping businesses and people transition to clean energy solutions. (BC Gov News)