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What does it take for Canada to be known globally as the best country in attracting and developing diverse, high-end talent?

Question:How can Canada become the best country in attracting and developing talent?
on 09/29/2016 1475179612
Numerous studies have shown the positive relationship between immigration and innovation. Immigrants bring with them specialized skills and experience .... Read more

Numerous studies have shown the positive relationship between immigration and innovation. Immigrants bring with them specialized skills and experience, diverse perspectives, international relationships and networks, and an entrepreneurial spirit. With an aging population and low birth rates, Canada will increasingly rely on immigration to ensure our labour market needs are met in the future. CPA Canada’s own internal occupational demand analysis shows this to be true for our profession.

 

We face competition for the best and the brightest. If we are to be competitive as a destination of choice, we must do a better job of attracting talent, smoothing the integration of newcomers into the workforce and providing them with the best opportunity to succeed. We must also do a better job of processing applications with speed and certainty.

 

CPA Canada has provided more specific input to this matter in our submission to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s recent online consultation, a National Conversation on Immigration.[1] Several key points are worth expanding upon in the context of Canada’s innovation agenda.

 

The Express Entry system of managing the economic class immigration streams would benefit from further refinement. Three reforms in particular are worth consideration: a re-examination of the emphasis on youth; replacing Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIAs); and supporting the role of international students in meeting labour market needs.

 

Age is one of the criteria for awarding points in the comprehensive ranking system for Express Entry applications. Generally, it makes sense to award a greater number of points for youth – as the point structure does – because younger immigrants have more years to contribute to Canada’s labour market. However, some highly specialized skills or executive-level experience can only be acquired through experience over time. The point system as currently structured unintentionally penalizes senior business executives and specialists for their wealth of experience. It also penalizes Canadian employers who need to fill particular niche roles for which suitable candidates are scarce.

 

This is particularly important when it comes to one of Canada’s biggest innovation challenges: our struggles to grow firms to a larger scale. A 2016 study by the Lazaridis Institute examined the barriers faced by high-growth Canadian technology firms and concluded that the biggest challenge was a lack of experienced management and executive talent. In particular, respondents indicated a shortfall of executives with first-hand experience scaling up technology firms.[2] Canadian firms need access to a deeper talent pool than the country’s labour supply is able to provide. Age should not preclude skilled managerial talent from consideration.

 

 

A central purpose behind Express Entry was to make Canada’s economic class immigration streams more responsive to labour market needs by enabling employer demand to directly impact the selection of immigrants. As such, the offer of employment from a Canadian employer is a significant component of the Express Entry point structure. But as a report by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce illustrated, by making that offer of employment contingent on a positive LMIA, the demand-driven thrust of Express Entry has been negated by what is essentially a protectionist labour market test.[3]

 

The Chamber makes a well-reasoned argument to replace the LMIA, to which we will just add that the LMIA requirement adds further time, administrative compliance and uncertainty to the Express Entry application process. The resulting delays and uncertainty are felt by both Canadian employers and prospective immigrants. The most sought-after international talent has options, and delays and uncertainty in the application process make Canada less competitive.

 

International students enrich the learning environment in Canada’s education institutions and make a substantial contribution to our economy in the process. There are sound economic reasons why Canada should position itself as the destination of choice for international students. Similarly, there are good reasons why we should look to these international students as potential future Canadians. No immigrants are better poised for success in Canada’s labour market than those who already possess a Canadian education, a comfort with Canadian society, and perhaps Canadian work experience.

 

But once again, Express Entry has minimized the opportunities for this talent pool, or at least created more uncertainty than before the system was introduced. The Canadian Experience Class (CEC) had been a convenient and successful pathway for international students to pursue immigration to Canada. In fact, in recent years, the Canadian government had set ambitious targets for CEC in order to maximize the number of international students who chose to stay. Since CEC is one of the economic class immigration programs subject to Express Entry, international students must now be ranked based on the Express Entry point system and compete with other potential immigrants. Their Canadian education and experience does not necessarily have any additional value under the point system.

 

Express Entry’s impact on CEC may make Canada a less desirable destination for international students in the first place. There should not be any guarantees of permanent residency offered to international students who come to Canada. However, at the same time, students should be able to realistically assess their chances of staying should they want to do so. Express Entry’s point system presents a rather cloudy view, and if other international students are less successful in pursuing immigration (as early Express Entry results suggest), then Canada may appear a less attractive choice for their studies. Once again, it is a matter of competition. The best and brightest international students will choose to go to the countries that offer the best educational opportunities along with the best long-term career prospects.

 

 

Recommendations:

 

  • Re-evaluate the points awarded for age under Express Entry to ensure that Canadian employers are not denied access to international talent with highly valued skills and experience.
  • Consider replacing the Labour Market Impact Assessment under Express Entry. If it is necessary to have a labour market test or validation of a legitimate job offer, ensure that the process is fast, efficient and clear.
  • If the Canadian Experience Class must be subject to the Express Entry points system, ensure that a Canadian education and experience is valued as it is in the Canadian marketplace.

 

How do we work together to better equip our young people with the right skill sets for the economy of the future?     

 

Much emphasis is placed on the need for Canada to graduate more students from the so-called STEM fields of study – science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Certainly these fields are critical for an innovation-driven economy. But just as important is the need for business graduates that have a sophisticated understanding of how to grow businesses through each stage of development, how to pursue opportunities in Canada and abroad, and how to anticipate and adapt to change.

 

An expert panel struck by the Council of Canadian Academies noted that STEM skills are not sufficient on their own to ensure improvements in innovation, productivity or growth. “Other skills such as leadership, creativity, adaptability, and entrepreneurial ability may be required to maximize the impact of STEM skills,” their report stated.[4]

 

The Institute for Competitiveness & Prosperity measured the specific shortfall in business skills finding that, when compared to the United States, Canada has a significant gap in the number of business degree holders. “More alarming is the lower educational attainment of those in management occupations, irrespective of field of study. Just over a third of our managers have a university degree, compared to half in the United States,” the institute warned.[5]

 

The OECD has also noted that Canada lags its peers in the development of business and entrepreneurial skills. In addition, it identified another reason to emphasize the importance of management talent – Canadians’ perceived aversion to risk and the contribution that makes to the country’s commercialization gap. It suggests that more management training and higher education in general would help to address that problem:

The best way to stimulate willingness to take risk may be to boost competitive pressures and openness … and to complement this by enhanced attention to management training and diversity at all educational levels. More tertiary education in general is also needed … Canada still lags in attainment of university degrees, whereas highly educated persons are much more likely to be owners of high-growth innovative firms.[6]

 

In addition to developing managerial talent, we need to do a better job of instilling basic business skills in graduates of all fields. The STEM graduates who may create the products, processes and services of the future, would benefit greatly from a fundamental understanding of how to commercialize their ideas and take them successfully to market. Yet interdisciplinary studies are often discouraged or even prevented. In some cases, spaces in business classes are reserved for students in business programs, making them unavailable to students in science faculties. On the other hand, students in STEM fields may believe that focusing their studies as narrowly as possible gives them greater expertise and enhances their employability.

 

The OECD recommends that post-secondary education institutions include training in entrepreneurship and business skills in their science-based programs, a recommendation we endorse. Greater awareness also needs to be generated regarding the business training resources that exist beyond post-secondary institutions, such as those provided by the Forum for International Trade Training (FITT).

 

Business-oriented financial literacy programs can also improve basic awareness of business skills. In fact, CPA Canada and thousands of CPA volunteers deliver a range of financial literacy programs to Canadians each year. Some of those programs are targeted to entrepreneurs or operators of SMEs to provide some of the essential knowledge and skills for operating a business.

 

By promoting a general understanding of business and removing barriers to interdisciplinary studies, we would develop a more entrepreneurial, adaptable and innovative workforce. The possession of specialized knowledge or skills along with an understanding of how to apply them in a business environment is a combination that should be encouraged.

 

Recommendations:

  • Ensure that Canada’s business schools are producing the sophisticated business managers needed to start, lead and grow firms into successful global players.
  • Encourage more interdisciplinary study in post-secondary education to enable innovators and inventors to also have a fundamental understanding of business, finance and entrepreneurialism.

 

[1] To be available on CPA Canada’s website at cpacanada.ca.

[2] Lazaridis Institute, Scaling Success: Tackling the Management Gap in Canada’s Technology Sector, Wilfred Laurier University, March 2016.

[3] Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Immigration for a Competitive Canada: Why Highly Skilled International Talent is at Risk, January 2016.

[4] Council of Canadian Academies, 2015, Some Assembly Required: STEM Skills and Canada’s Economic Productivity, Ottawa: The Expert Panel on STEM Skills for the Future, Council of Canadian Academies.

[5] Institute for Competitiveness & Prosperity, Canada’s Innovation Imperative: Report on Canada 2011.

[6] Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (2012), OECD Economic Surveys: Canada 2012, OECD Publishing.

Credit: Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada

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Training the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs / Former la prochaine génération d’innovateurs et d’entrepreneurs

Question:How can Canada become the best country in attracting and developing talent?
on 09/16/2016 1474053648
For Canada to be a global innovation nation, we need young Canadians to understand other countries and other cultures. Open minds mean open borders fo .... Read more

For Canada to be a global innovation nation, we need young Canadians to understand other countries and other cultures. Open minds mean open borders for trade, immigration and ideas. Yet only three per cent of Canadian university students (approximately 25,000) go abroad in any given year, despite 97 per cent of universities offering international experiences. Canada’s universities aspire to enable all Canadian university students to develop greater risk-taking, adaptability, flexibility, language and intercultural skills, as well as knowledge of global markets before they graduate.

To celebrate Canada’s 150th, Universities Canada recommends that we invest in our next generation of leaders by increasing the outbound mobility of university students to 50,000 students abroad per year by 2022. Doing so, particularly by exposing our students to cross-border learning opportunities in emerging economic powers and strategic partners, will sharpen Canada’s competitive edge.

At the same time, Canada needs smart immigration policies and best-in-class processes to support the attraction and retention of international talent. As the government looks to substantially increase the levels of immigration into Canada, universities in communities across the country are important hubs for attracting and integrating top talent. Universities play a critical role in drawing top researchers to our communities, directly boosting our innovative potential and strengthening our international research connections. Universities also draw some of the best and brightest international students, who contribute well over $10 billion to the Canadian economy each year. Many of these students would like to remain after their studies, transitioning into productive members of the Canadian labour force with valuable people-to-people ties that assist in trade linkages, foreign direct investment and private sector partnerships. Our immigration policies must position Canada as a global magnet for this top talent. Universities Canada recommends the following:

  • Facilitate the flow of international talent to Canada’s universities through a simplified process for temporary work permits under the International Mobility Program.
  • Given that a large portion of foreign academics are already Labour Market Impact Assessment-exempt under the International Mobility Program, we recommend extending this exemption to all hiring by universities for positions that support the academic enterprise, including faculty, researchers, research associates, academic physicians and senior university administrators.
  • Eliminate the LMIA requirement in the Express Entry points system and/or lower the value of points awarded for the LMIA-supported job offer and allow for greater value to be placed on the human capital criteria to adequately recognize Permanent Resident candidates such as foreign university faculty and international graduates of Canada’s universities.
  • Allocate resources to ensure that study permit processing times are globally competitive in order to position Canada as the destination of choice for top talent.

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Pour que le Canada soit une nation d’innovation, il faut que les jeunes Canadiens comprennent les autres pays et les autres cultures, car les esprits ouverts favorisent l’ouverture des frontières aux échanges commerciaux, à l’immigration et aux idées. Toutefois, seulement trois pour cent des étudiants universitaires canadiens (environ 25 000) bénéficient d’une expérience à l’étranger chaque année, en dépit du fait que 97 pour cent des universités offrent de telles expériences. Les universités canadiennes aspirent à permettre à tous les étudiants du pays de renforcer leur capacité à prendre des risques, à s’adapter et à faire preuve de souplesse, de parfaire leurs compétences linguistiques et interculturelles et d’acquérir des connaissances sur les marchés mondiaux.

Pour souligner son 150e anniversaire de la Confédération, le Canada doit investir dans la prochaine génération de leaders en portant à 50 000 le nombre d’étudiants universitaires qui effectuent chaque année un séjour d’études à l’étranger d’ici 2022. Ces expériences internationales, notamment les possibilités d’apprentissage dans des pays émergents et d’autres qui sont des partenaires stratégiques, viendront accroître l’avantage concurrentiel du Canada.

Parallèlement, le Canada doit se doter de politiques réfléchies en matière d’immigration et de processus optimisés pour attirer et retenir les talents étrangers. Le gouvernement fédéral cherche à hausser considérablement les taux d’immigration, et les universités dans les collectivités de l’ensemble du pays jouent un rôle important pour attirer et intégrer les talents étrangers. Elles favorisent l’établissement des meilleurs chercheurs dans les collectivités canadiennes, ce qui a directement pour effet de stimuler le potentiel d’innovation du pays et de renforcer ses réseaux de recherche internationaux. Les universités attirent également certains des étudiants étrangers les plus brillants, ce qui entraîne des retombées économiques annuelles largement supérieures à 10 milliards de dollars pour l’économie canadienne. Bon nombre d’entre eux souhaitent demeurer au pays après leurs études et effectuer une transition sans heurts vers le marché du travail, où ils participeront à la productivité nationale. Leurs précieux réseaux favoriseront les liens commerciaux, les investissements étrangers et les partenariats dans le secteur privé. Les politiques d’immigration du Canada doivent faire du pays une destination de choix pour les étudiants et les chercheurs étrangers les plus brillants. Universités Canada recommande ce qui suit :

  • Faciliter la venue de talents étrangers dans les universités canadiennes en simplifiant le processus d’obtention de permis de travail temporaire dans le cadre du Programme de mobilité internationale (PMI).
  • Comme les offres de poste d’une grande majorité des universitaires étrangers sont déjà exemptées d’une Étude d’impact sur le marché du travail (EIMT) dans le cadre du PMI, Universités Canada recommande que cette exemption soit élargie à toutes les embauches à des postes contribuant à l’entreprise universitaire, dont les professeurs, les chercheurs, les agrégés de recherche, les médecins universitaires et les administrateurs de haut rang des universités.
  • Éliminer le critère du système de points d’Entrée express exigeant une offre d’emploi ayant fait l’objet d’une EIMT ou réduire le nombre de points accordés pour une offre d’emploi ayant fait l’objet d’une EIMT et permettre d’accorder une plus grande valeur au critère de capital humain afin d’évaluer adéquatement les demandes des candidats à la résidence permanente, notamment celles des professeurs étrangers et des étudiants étrangers diplômés des universités canadiennes.
  • Allouer des ressources afin que les délais de traitement des demandes de permis d’études soient concurrentiels à l’échelle mondiale, pour faire du Canada la destination de choix des étudiants les plus brillants.
Credit: Universities Canada / Universités Canada

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Jouer un plus grand rôle au sein du leadership international en innovation sociale

Question:What more can be done to cement Canada's place as a leader in social entrepreneurship?
on 08/26/2016 1472223761
Tags: international 
L’économie sociale du Québec et le mouvement coopératif du Canada sont reconnus au niveau international. Cet automne, le Canada accueille le .... Read more

L’économie sociale du Québec et le mouvement coopératif du Canada sont reconnus au niveau international. Cet automne, le Canada accueille le Forum mondial de l’économie sociale et le Sommet international des coopératives, les deux plus importantes conférences du monde sur l’économie sociale et les coopératives. La richesse du leadership canadien en économie sociale et coopérative devrait être soulignée au niveau mondial en encourageant la participation d’organismes et d’institutions canadiennes dans des réseaux internationaux tels que le Groupe de travail sur l’économie sociale et solidaire de l’ONU, le Forum sur les innovations sociales de l'OCDE, etc.

Credit: Réseau canadien de DÉC, Coopératives et mutuelles Canada, Chantier de l'économie sociale

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Play a Greater Role in International Social Innovation Leadership

Question:What more can be done to cement Canada's place as a leader in social entrepreneurship?
on 08/26/2016 1472223620
Québec's social economy and Canada's co-operative movement are internationally recognized. This fall, Canada is hosting the Global Social Economy For .... Read more

Québec's social economy and Canada's co-operative movement are internationally recognized. This fall, Canada is hosting the Global Social Economy Forum, and the International Summit on Co-operatives, two of the largest conferences in the world on the social economy and co-operatives. Canada's rich social economy and co-operative leadership should be celebrated on the world stage by supporting the participation of Canadian organizations and institutions in international networks such as the United Nations Task Force on the Social Solidarity Economy, the OECD Forum on Social Innovations and others.

Credit: Canadian CED Network, Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada, Chantier de l'économie sociale

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Provide more cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural opportunities

Question:How do we work together to equip youth with the right skills for the future economy?
on 08/18/2016 1471551850
Beyond the specific vocational skills that are important for each of our graduates, transferable skills are equally important to ensuring graduates ar .... Read more

Beyond the specific vocational skills that are important for each of our graduates, transferable skills are equally important to ensuring graduates are ready for every changing job environment. Providing cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural opportunities to our young people will engage them in novel ways, and expand their thinking beyond their immediate professions. With increased globalization, it’s important for our graduates to have an international perspective – while also instilling in them the importance of engagement with their own local communities.  With technological changes also comes new opportunities for work in fields we haven’t even yet thought of – we need to prepare our graduates to be adaptable and to think in novel and creative ways.  To equip our young people for the future, we need to provide them with as many learning opportunities as possible outside the traditional classroom. This could include such things as international exchanges or placements, and community projects where students work to solve real community problems (likely in conjunction with different disciplines, adding to the cross-disciplinary experience).

Credit: Sheridan Faculty of Applied Health and Community Studies

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To be known globally, one must act globally.

Question:How can Canada become the best country in attracting and developing talent?
on 08/18/2016 1471551386
In order to be known globally, one must act globally. Sheridan’s Faculty of Animation, Arts and Design has committed to interacting with the int .... Read more

In order to be known globally, one must act globally. Sheridan’s Faculty of Animation, Arts and Design has committed to interacting with the international academic and artistic communities. We host international conferences, recruit the top students and faculty internationally, partner with international practitioners on our productions in Animation, Music Theatre, Design and the like. By acting in an international environment, we raise the bar for our Faculty. We better learn to measure success and failure by acting within an international context. However, these activities need constant funding and resourcing for ongoing institutional commitments.

Credit: Sheridan Faculty of Animation, Arts and Design

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To be known globally, one must act globally.

Question:How can Canada become the best country in attracting and developing talent?
on 08/18/2016 1471551382
In order to be known globally, one must act globally. Sheridan’s Faculty of Animation, Arts and Design has committed to interacting with the int .... Read more

In order to be known globally, one must act globally. Sheridan’s Faculty of Animation, Arts and Design has committed to interacting with the international academic and artistic communities. We host international conferences, recruit the top students and faculty internationally, partner with international practitioners on our productions in Animation, Music Theatre, Design and the like. By acting in an international environment, we raise the bar for our Faculty. We better learn to measure success and failure by acting within an international context. However, these activities need constant funding and resourcing for ongoing institutional commitments.

Credit: Sheridan Faculty of Animation, Arts and Design

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National youth STEM, innovation, and entrepreneurship celebration event

Question:How do we work together to equip youth with the right skills for the future economy?
on 06/30/2016 1467314950
Canadian high school students regularly achieve world-class results in international STEM competitions. In 2015 – and again in 2016 – youn .... Read more

Canadian high school students regularly achieve world-class results in international STEM competitions. In 2015 – and again in 2016 – young Canadians won the top award (and the US$75,000 cash prize) at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), topping 1,700 students from 75 countries. Canadians have won the Sanofi International Biogenius Challenge, FIRST Robotics Competition World Championships, and numerous STEM Olympiad competitions from astronomy to mathematics. Canadians have been top 15 finalists (from over 10,000 global entries) in the Google Science Fair almost every year since it began in 2011 – and won top awards in 2013 and 2014.

Most Canadians – and particularly our youth – are completely unaware. It’s as if our world junior hockey team won and no-one noticed. That doesn’t happen because Canada has a vibrant hockey culture. Thanks to Vancouver 2010 and Own the Podium, we’re developing an Olympic culture. But we need a STEM, innovation, and entrepreneurship culture.

As in sports, a STEM culture needs heroes – rising stars that young Canadians recognize and emulate. When 16-year-old Victoria BC inventor Ann Makosinski appeared on the Jimmy Fallon Show with her hand-heat-powered flashlight – and again a year later with a cell phone charging travel mug – kids noticed. Peltier tile-powered devices – many built by girls – appeared at science fairs across Canada. Building a science and innovation culture is no different to building a hockey or Olympic culture; celebrating excellence and achievement on the national stage and in the media is an essential component.

In 2010, U.S. President Obama initiated what became an annual tradition – the White House Science Fair. Over the past six years, this event has celebrated the winners of a broad range of youth STEM and entrepreneurship competitions at what the President has called, “the most fun day of the year.”

I propose creating an annual event, hosted on Parliament Hill, to recognize Canadian winners of national and international youth STEM, innovation, and entrepreneurship competitions and other young Canadian achievers. They would be invited to share their work with the Prime Minister / Minister of Youth, Minister of Science, Key Opinion Leaders, STEM-related government officials, and most importantly, the media.

Most kids aren’t going to become professional or Olympic athletes, but wanting to inspires and motivates. Let’s celebrate Canada’s youth STEM, innovation, and entrepreneurship heroes and role models.

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EhappyPedia: une enclyclopédie de bonheur

Question:How can Canada become the best country in attracting and developing talent?
on 06/23/2016 1466693732
Voici un inspirant projet canadien d'envergure mondiale qui répond à la question de l'entreprenariat: Article Radio Canada: http://www.rcinet.ca/f .... Read more

Voici un inspirant projet canadien d'envergure mondiale qui répond à la question de l'entreprenariat:

Article Radio Canada: http://www.rcinet.ca/fr/2016/06/16/bakhoa-nguyen-ehappypedia-pour-changer-le-monde-une-parcelle-de-bonheur-a-la-fois/

Donnez une attention médiatique à de tel projet et encouragez d'autres entrepreneurs à lui faire compétition. Partager un rêve et surprendre tout le monde avec des idées innovatrices est la nature même des entrepreneurs.

Le besoin est d'avantage d'inspirer et de pousser l'entrepreneur à réaliser son projet et à tester le terrain plutôt que d'essayer de le cadrer et lui éviter des erreurs. Les erreurs et les échecs n'ont pas la même signification pour les entrepreneurs... ils n'arrêteront devant rien si leur idée est claire.

Étant mariée à un entrepreneur né, j'ai appris à le supporter les hauts et les bas. Tant qu'il y a encore de l'espoir, les bas ne sont que des opportunnités pour rebondir plus fort. Ce ne sont pas des beaux mots, c'est la réalité des entrepreneurs.

Lam Tra Nien Vo, Bch en ingénerie

T:514.743.5094

 

 

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Lower taxes for startups

Question:How can Canada become the best country in attracting and developing talent?
on 06/23/2016 1466662419
You need to lower taxes for companies trying to start-up and also provide more be benefits and tax breaks to hire good talent so new startups can get .... Read more

You need to lower taxes for companies trying to start-up and also provide more be benefits and tax breaks to hire good talent so new startups can get there ideas of the ground and into solutions. It's always better working with people side by side but with the high costs to pay when you can contract someone over the Internet for much cheaper is hard for startups. 

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