Moncton's immigration strategy shows 'great progress'
Moncton area sees more than 4,500 new permanent residents in the last four years
Moncton's immigration strategy shows the area has gained more skilled workers in the past four years.
David Campbell, president of Jupia Consultants Inc., said the number of immigrants in Moncton area is up by double what it was five years ago, even excluding the Syrian refugees who settled in the area in 2016.
"It shows great progress," Campbell told Information Morning Moncton. "We're heading for a record year. We're looking at probably around 1,800 new immigrants settling in the Moncton area in 2018."
Immigration Greater Moncton released its final report on its four-year immigration strategy last week.
The strategy aims to increase immigration, find ways to keep immigrants in Moncton, Dieppe and Riverview and boost entrepreneurship.
Moncton saw more than 4,500 new permanent residents in the last four years. The report showed a 77 per cent immigrant retention rate in 2015.
Campbell said many of the immigrants are integrating into the labour market and working in fields where employees are in demand, such as home care and nursing care, as well as manufacturing, retail and information technology.
Being able to have a good life, especially when working in jobs that don't pay much more than minimum wage, can be a challenge, he said.
He said work is being done to try to align newcomers with jobs in their skill set.
"We're trying to find people … for whom it would be a good career move to come to our community and work in these sectors," he said.
He said another challenge is to try to get accreditation for people who have the training — as nurses, for example — but not from Canadian programs.
Accreditation is controlled by the professions and industries themselves, but the local community should "advocate and lobby for these changes and try to find pathways to bring these folks in."
"It's not an easy challenge to solve because it's out of our control," he said.
2019-2024 immigration strategy
Campbell is part of the team working on the 2019-2024 immigration strategy, which will have a number of changes compared to the last one.
The first change would be to communicate with the public about why immigration is important and how it can boost the economy, he said.
"We think there is a real role for greater public engagement of public awareness on this issue," he said.
He said the new plan will also focus on keeping international students after they graduate, as well as making sure young newcomers get an education in New Brunswick.
With files from Information Morning Moncton