Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Wed Aug 20th 2008 at 8:09am UTC

Canada’s Got Talent

Canada is upping its game in the global competition for talent, liberalizing immigration for students and skilled workers. As the Globe and Mail reports, the country

is creating a new fast-track immigration route for skilled foreign workers and students who’ve already proved employable in Canada: an effort to prevent an erosion of talent as global competition heats up for higher-value labour.

Unlike existing programs, the Canadian Experience Class immigration stream will make work experience in this country a key criterion for vetting applicants. It will also allow temporary foreign workers and students living here to apply from within Canada rather than having to leave first. It’s expected to grant permanent resident status to 12,000 to 18,000 economic immigrants in the first year, a figure that’s forecast to rise to 25,000 annually over time …

The goal is to improve the quality of immigrants and retain the most valuable workers and educated students: arrivals who’ve already proven they can integrate into society and meet labour market needs. “If we’re going to compete internationally for the best and for the brightest, we need to improve the way that we attract and retain those who want to work in their fields and contribute to Canadian society,” federal Immigration Minister Diane Finley explained.

In Flight, I argued it would be just these sorts of incremental improvements in competing for global talent – by Australia, the UK, New Zealand, and northern European countries, as well as the ability of the BRICs to lure back emigres – that could begin to undermine the U.S. lead in global talent. And with the situation in Iraq, the sub-prime meltdown and credit crisis, not to mention a watershed election, the U.S. seems incapable of addressing this issue.

Do you think the U.S. will be able to turn the corner on this one, or will some combinations of other nations inexorably undermine its long-standing talent advantage?

3 Responses to “Canada’s Got Talent”

  1. Elizabeth M Says:

    I think the results of the next election will tell whether this is a movement we can reverse or whether it’s something that will eat away at our flailing country.

  2. Swordsman Says:

    Elizabeth M: I totally agree. And the results of said election will probably help me to decide to stay or leave as well. If after all that is happened both domestically and globally, we in America still decide to select the status quo after this level of economic, social, and financial mess, then I am forced to conclude there probably is no reversing American decline.

  3. Canada, our enemy : Unbound Abundance Says:

    [...] Creative Class has a post on what Canada, and several other smaller English-speaking nations are doing to develop, attract, retain smart, capable, high-touch skilled young people. [...]