This recent announcement from the Canadian Government signifies a significant shift in policy that acknowledges the skills, training, and experience of refugees and other displaced individuals. This new policy approach, via the Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot (EMPP), expands Canada’s immigration streams to offer more opportunities for skilled refugees and displaced individuals to immigrate and contribute to Canada’s workforce and economy.
Two new EMPP streams were unveiled by the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship. These streams will allow Canadian employers to tap into the often overlooked talent pool of refugees and displaced individuals worldwide. The new streams are designed to fill in-demand jobs and bolster economic immigration, while also complementing Canada’s existing humanitarian commitments.
The first of these new streams, the EMPP Federal Skills Job Offer Stream, is aimed at candidates who already have a job offer from a Canadian employer. This stream caters to a variety of in-demand jobs, such as nurse aides, personal support workers, software engineers, web designers, logistics workers, tourism and hospitality workers, and more.
The second stream, the EMPP Federal Skills Without a Job Offer Stream, is available to highly-skilled refugees without job offers, recognizing that their skills are in high demand and they will likely find employment upon arrival in Canada.
One of the major benefits of the new EMPP streams is the elimination of the requirement for Canadian work experience. Also, the improvements and efficiencies in these streams, based on the lessons learned from the first EMPP rollout, mean that newcomers will be able to start working in Canada faster.
Canada continues to lead in refugee resettlement and labor mobility, having resettled over 46,500 refugees from over 80 countries in the past year. The EMPP allows Canada to welcome more individuals needing protection by allowing them to enter as economic immigrants, thus preserving resettlement spaces for those in greater vulnerability.
The EMPP offers an opportunity for refugees and displaced individuals to leverage their skills for their benefit and that of their families, as well as the communities and workplaces that will welcome them. It represents Canada’s commitment to meet the needs of its economic and humanitarian obligations and serve as a model for other nations in the realm of labor mobility. The expanded and scaled-up EMPP is a clear testament to Canada’s role as Chair of the Global Taskforce on Labour Mobility.
This innovative approach to immigration is a powerful reminder that refugees and other displaced people bring much more than the desire for safety; they bring valuable skills and experiences that can enrich the societies that welcome them.