Canada needs an extra one million immigrants between now and 2021 in a move that would boost the country’s Gross Domestic Product by 2.3%, it is claimed.
It would mean an extra 100,000 per year and would add $14 billion to the government’s tax revenue coffers as well as boosting investment in housing and creating more demand for goods and services, according to a study by Canadian professor Tony Fang.
The report from University of York in Vancouver looked at the impact of large-scale immigration on the Canadian economy and took into account factors such as how much immigrants participate in the labour force, spending on government services and infrastructure.
It also looked at funds brought in by immigrants, labour market differences between migrants and the effect of large-scale immigration on Canadian born workers.
Fang, an associate professor of human resources in the faculty of liberal arts and professional studies, concludes that higher levels of immigration will boost the economy.
Canada already has the highest immigration rate per capita out of major countries and has programmes in place to try to deal with skill shortages.
Fang’s previous work has found that training and development doesn’t help immigrants get ahead in their careers, even though it benefits other employees.
He found that immigrant and non-immigrant professionals are equally likely to undergo training and development initiatives funded by employers. However, immigrants don’t reap the rewards of higher pay, promotions, or increased job satisfaction reported by their non-immigrant counterparts.
‘We believe non-immigrants may be better able to leverage their training and, as a result, achieve higher salaries and promotions,’ he said.
‘There is an urgent need for employers to develop better policies for integrating and leveraging the talents of immigrant professionals,’ he added.
On average, immigrant professionals, that is those who hold at least an undergraduate, graduate, or professional degree, earn less than non-immigrants. They also tend to have lower promotion rates and shorter tenure with their current employer. In addition, they are less satisfied with their jobs and compensation.
A major barrier for immigrants, Fang noted, is lack of cultural fluency including language limitations and unfamiliarity with local training methods.