By: Jackie Guo
One of the Partnership’s Connectors, Alex Farrell from RBC recently forwarded an article about the increasing number of international students coming to Canada. This caught my attention immediately as I am the coordinator of the International Student Connector Program at the Greater Halifax Partnership.
The article says that Canada welcomed 96,147 international students (http://www.cic.gc.ca) in 2010. According to a study commissioned by the Government of Canada entitled Economic Impact of International Education in Canada, international students are estimated to contribute more than $6.5 billion to Canada’s economy every year.
Based on our research, we know that Canada will need immigrants/permanent residents in many years to come because of the low birth rate and baby boomers retiring from the labour force. 280, 636 permanent residents came to Canada in 2010, the highest number in more than 50 years (http://www.cic.gc.ca). If all 96,147 international students could become permanent residents to Canada after graduation, then Canada would only need about 180,000 permanent residents to meet its immigration target.
Of course, it won’t be that easy as immigration and labour shortage issues are much more complex. However, international students can naturally be part of solution to the labour shortage in Nova Scotia and the rest of the country.
The International Student Connector Program is helping international MBA and Master of Finance students and graduates expand their professional networks, increasing their chances of finding employment in their field. This helps deepen their attachment to the community and facilitates their transition from university the labour market.
With this initiative, we give our connectors a chance to explore international talent and see experienced international talent firsthand. Alex is one of our over 300 connectors who help newcomers and international students develop professional networks and successfully settle into our community.
Let’s get more international students connected. The more, the better!
For more information on the International Student Connector Program, please contact Jackie Guo at firstname.lastname@example.org.