A new initiative has been set in motion by the Canadian Government to address the nation’s labor needs and foster stronger ties with the Philippines.

Announced by Marc Miller, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, the CAN Work Philippines pilot program is launching from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)’s visa office in Manila. This initiative will simplify the work permit process for Canadian employers hiring from the Philippines. The pilot is especially targeted at employers hiring around 50 or more workers in sectors like health care, construction, and agri-food.

This program’s introduction aligns with the inaugural Philippines–Canada Friendship Week, emphasizing the significance of the Philippines as a partner in Canada’s Indo-Pacific Strategy. The Philippines has been a crucial contributor to Canada’s immigrant community, enhancing the social and economic fabric of the nation.

An essential component of this program is the adherence to ethical recruitment standards. To participate, Canadian employers need to commit to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) guidelines on fair recruitment. In a move to promote these standards in the Philippines, the IRCC will provide the IOM with $200,000. This fund is expected to facilitate training sessions and promote the adoption of IOM’s Fair and Ethical Recruitment Due Diligence Toolkit within the Philippines.

Immigration continues to play a pivotal role in Canada’s labor force growth. As per data, nearly 75% of Canada’s population growth is attributed to immigration, and by 2036, immigrants are projected to constitute up to 30% of the nation’s populace. The Canadian Government’s investment in the Indo-Pacific Strategy further underscores the importance of immigration, with an allocation of $74.6 million over five years. The Philippines, historically, has been a significant source of immigrants for Canada. Recent statistics show that one in ten Temporary Foreign Worker Program work permits issued in the first half of 2023 went to Filipino nationals.

The Philippines-Canada Friendship Week, commencing on October 23, will showcase the robust relationship between the two countries, with various events planned, including information sessions, testimonials, and cultural exchanges.

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