Promising measure to keep grads here

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By this time it should be common knowledge for everyone that Nova Scotia is facing a serious population shortage that it must reverse to survive.

Along with more people, another need is to ensure we have an educated workforce, with industries, research and services reflecting that higher learning.

The Nova Scotia government has a plan in mind to meet those goals. The province, with its offering of universities, has long been renowned as a destination for international students. The government wants to make it easier for those graduates to stay and begin their careers here. Effective immediately, anyone graduating from a Canadian university or college with a job offer from a Nova Scotia employer will be able to apply for permanent residency through the provincial nominee program.

The need to boost immigration has often been expressed before, and was underscored in the recent Ivany report that discussed the elements required to build a lasting economy in Nova Scotia. The benefits of increasing numbers of skilled residents can’t be overstated.

In making the announcement, Immigration Minister Lena Diab described recent graduates as ideal candidates – naturally they already speak English well, and they have ties in the community where they studied.

Diab added that universities and colleges hold a key role in this plan by continuing to recruit students from other countries.

Students can be nominated for immigration through the provincial nominee program’s skilled workers stream, though the final decision rests with Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

This is a good addition, indeed, in the quest to have young, well-trained people in a province aiming to move beyond the so-called sunset industries into operations more technologically based.

While they’re at it, though, the province might want to reconsider the graduate retention rebate it cancelled this year, an incentive for grads native to the province to stay and work here. We want them too.

Organizations: Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Geographic location: Nova Scotia

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