Marie-Linda Lord, the vice-president of student and international affairs, said the university has attracted 608 international students. (University of Moncton) ((University of Moncton))

The University of Moncton's success in recruiting international students to study at the institution is causing local employers to hope this could be one solution to the skilled worker shortage in the area.

The university has 608 international students this year, primarily from Haiti and Africa.

Marie-Linda Lord, the vice-president of student and international affairs, said local businesses should reach out to the students if they are having difficulty filling their jobs.

"They're very well educated, they know the city, they know the province, they have a network of people to work with," she said.

Keri Geddes, the labour force development officer at Enterprise Greater Moncton, said she spends her days meeting with employers desperate for skilled workers.

She said this pool of 608 international students could be part of the solution.

"That's a great number to have here in the city and these people that are here and have been here for four years and if they can handle the winters they're certainly going to stay," Geddes said.

Geddes said as the university continues to attract more foreign students it could become a source of new immigrants.

Students hoping to stay

Many of the international students at the university are hoping to find work in the city after they graduate.

Sahar Janouni, a student from Morocco, is studying civil engineering at the university. Janouni said the university experience has allowed her to meet people from across the world.

Gilles Cedric, a computer science student from Cameroon, desribed Moncton as a "quiet" city and "good for studying."

These are traits that could help lure even more international students to the campus in future years.

The university’s vice-president of international affairs said the institution uses former students as recruiters in more than 30 countries.

And she said alumni are also sending their children to Moncton.

"We now have students that come from the second generation," Lord said.

"So their parents have had their schooling here in Moncton and so they have heard that it was good, excellent, so that's why they're coming to Moncton."

Lord said employers in the region who are looking for workers should consider hiring these graduates.