Canada to play matchmaker for immigrants

Jan. 2, 2013 at 9:01 AM

OTTAWA, Jan. 2 (UPI) -- Canada's immigration minister introduced a new online matchmaking program that will connect potential immigrants with employers, to be in place by 2014.

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said the program, Expression of Interest, will allow Canadian immigrants to advertise their skills on a government database that employers will access.

"It's like a dating site," Kenney said.

Kenney said employers can then recruit immigrants who have skills that are in short supply in Canada instead of hiring temporary workers. They will be eligible to become permanent residents.

The Globe and Mail said the database is a variation on programs in place in Australia and New Zealand, and represents a move toward picking immigrants based on how they can benefit Canada, instead of on a first-come, first-served basis.

Kenney said the program would not be mandatory for economic immigrants.

The Globe and Mail said the program is the culmination of Kenney's five-year reform of the immigration system.

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