Population Strategy • The Provincial Immigration Strategy was approved in April, 2006 • Strategies were included for the attraction and retention of immigrants, • the retention of youth and • repatriation Background Consultation • The PEI Population Secretariat hosted an Immigration/Settlement Forum on November 2, 2005 • The forum provided an opportunity for government, communities, academics, industry and the general public to collaboratively determine how best to attract, integrate and retain immigrants to our Province • The participants input was used in the creation of the Population Strategy Research - Recent Settlers to Prince Edward Island • A study was commissioned by the Secretariat in co-operation with the University of Prince Edward Island • Qualitative and quantitative research on why people settle in PEI and why they stay • Target was individuals who have recently moved to PEI (between 1998 and 2003) whether they were immigrants or Canadians from another province. Results Top reasons why immigrants moved to PEI: – Attractive quality of life – Close to family – Availability/prospects for employment – Affordable housing Why immigrants stay in PEI: – Attractive quality of life – Employment opportunities – Safe and welcoming communities Results Continued • Of the respondents, 35 (11.25 %) were actively planning to leave PEI. Reasons for their desire to leave: – The perceived closed mindedness of Islanders and their response to those who “Come From Away” – Limited job prospects – High taxes and cost of living – Unsuitable employment/low wages Population Strategy Strategies include: 1. Research 2. Employment opportunity promotion through the Jobs Registry 3. Youth Mentoring Program 4. Promotion of the Provincial Nominee Program -/new category 5. Increase Focus on youth retention 6. Adaptability training and education for Islanders 7. Communication with communities about available programs and services School Presentations • Presentations are being made in early May to schools on the benefits of attracting immigrants to PEI and our demographics • Presentations will be made for students and an evening presentation will be made to parents • The presentations will also focus on abolishing existing prejudices and increase understanding and acceptance of different cultures- Heritage Canada • Immigrants will fill voids in our labour market and enrich and diversify our culture Immigrant Connections Category • The Immigrant Connections Category is unique to the PEI Provincial Nominee Program • PEI Immigrants or residents “champion” an individual for nomination • Immigrant Champions must reside in PEI for two years after receiving permanent residency status, have a regular source of income and an unblemished personal history • Champions make an informal written commitment to assist potential nominee with their integration in PEI • Good opportunity to build immigrant communities hence better retention Jobs Registry • Technology PEI has a jobs database for the Information and Communication Technologies industry • The database has a resource of over 1,000 resumes of individuals seeking employment • The database is expanding to include aerospace, diversified manufacturing, bioscience and skilled trades (Sector Councils) Jobs Registry - Continued • The database will continue to expand as sectors are developed within the Province • The resource will be marketed in Prince Edward Island to employers. It is our hopes that the majority of PEI employers will come on-side with the registry to post jobs so that we have a detailed and comprehensive listing of all availabilities • The registry will be useful for potential immigrants looking for nomination through the PEI Provincial Nominee Program Welcoming Communities • Prince Edward Island communities have already begun to take independent action in the attraction and retention of immigrants. • Similar to trends across the country, Prince Edward Island is experiencing a migration of people from rural areas to larger centers. Communities are taking action to prevent out- migration and encourage attraction. • One community has circulated questionnaires to immigrants in their community to determine what they see as the communities weaknesses and strengths . • Welcoming Community - Continued • Another community is taking steps towards being a welcoming community for all new settlers in the area, whether they be immigrants or people from another area of PEI. • The community is implementing a “good neighbor” program where a family of similar demographics is paired with the new family and acts as a resource. • They are also creating a manual of important information and increasing social engagement among the community by holding get to know your neighbors events.. • i Welcoming Community - Continued • The Population Secretariat will hold sessions over the summer months with communities across the Province to get them thinking about what type of steps they could take to increase attraction and retention. • The City of Summerside has begun a “Friends of Summerside” campaign, where job notification, news and developments are sent electronically to former residents of the city and it’s surrounding communities. Welcoming Community - Continued • Summerside has also accessed funds from Citizenship and Immigration Canada. These funds are being used for ESL training, and presently there are 6 individuals in the program, with room for more.
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