Immigration for Employers

  • Are you facing a decreasing workforce?
  • How many of your employees will still be working in 5-10 years?
  • Do you find it challenging to find qualified employees?

You are not alone. Atlantic Canada, along with the Western region, is facing a retiring workforce and an impending skills shortage. Imagine if half the workers in our community were no longer working. How can we work together to lessen the blow of a declining population?

Immediately following our Summit on October 17th, our newest team member, Gino Thibeault provided a brief overview of how the Atlantic Immigration Pilot (AIP) can help regional employers and what it takes to get involved.

Gino Thibeault Western REN Immigration

This new immigration stream for Atlantic Canada is designed to fill immediate labour force needs.

The AIP is an accelerated way to bring in workers, along with their families, from other countries. This stream is different than existing immigration streams. It’s quicker than other ways, since Atlantic Canada is in a unique situation. It is also employer-driven, as opposed to current streams which are immigrant driven.

To take advantage of this program, employers must get designated. To become designated, the employer must apply to the province and meet the following criteria:

  • Have a business operating in good standing;
  • Provide information on labour needs;
  • Commit to working with a service provider organization on settlement and retention.

Once they are designated they can start to advertise and recruit internationally. Once the employer finds the right fit for their business, the province endorses the employer. To become endorsed, an employer must:

  • Demonstrate efforts to hire locally have not been successful;
  • Recruit a foreign worker;
  • Provide a valid, full-time, non-seasonal job offer co-signed with the foreign worker;
  • Provide an individualized settlement plan co-signed with the foreign worker.

Immigration Supports in Western NS: NSOI’s Mary-Jo MacKay, Y-Reach’s Dolores Atwood, Western REN’s Gino Thibeault

After the employer finds a candidate that is the right fit and offers them a job, the employer connects them with a participating settlement service provider. These organizations work with the recruit, conduct a needs assessment, and create a settlement plan for the employee and their family. This plan includes recommendations for schools, doctor, and other suggestions to ensure that the new employee has a good life here. This makes for a smoother transition and a higher retention rate.

The Atlantic Immigration Pilot provides an avenue for regional employers to bring in new workers to bolster their declining workforce and address our impending skills shortage. Not only will this program help us bring in new workers fill job shortages, but also to add individuals and families to our region and help it grow.

Contact Gino for more information: or by phone at 902-307-2771.