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Manitoba offers residency incentive for STEM grads

Canada is developing a reputation as a bellwether of education and startup opportunities for students in the science, technology, engineering and manufacturing fields. For example, The Globe and Mail noted that the University of Waterloo in Ontario is often cited as an equal to MIT in the U.S., and numerous other Canadian universities have admirable STEM pedigrees.

However, the nation is also currently experiencing a shortage in terms of individuals to take jobs in the IT, tech and engineering sectors. In response to this, the government of Canada has developed a number of initiatives to incentivize filling these roles.

Manitoba’s new residency program is among the latest examples of this. According to The PIE News, the province will offer chances at full residency to any international STEM student within its borders who finishes an internship in conjunction with graduate- or doctorate-level studies. Provided they choose to work in jobs directly germane to what they studied, bachelor’s degree holders can also apply.

Upon graduation, these individuals can seek all of the benefits afforded to lawful permanent residents of Canada. Other provinces in the country have similar programs but are not specific to those majoring in STEM-related disciplines.

In 2018, businesses in Canada will seek to fill job vacancies in many fields, not merely IT, engineering and tech. Citing data from the Canada Federation of Independent Business, Huffington Post Canada noted that the nation currently has as many as 360,000 unfilled positions.

Personal services accounted for the greatest job-vacancy rate of 2017’s third quarter, at 4.1 per cent. Professional services, an umbrella term that would encompass many IT, tech and engineering positions, had a Q3 vacancy figure of 2.7 per cent, just below the Canadian national average of 2.8 per cent. The unemployment rate, however, hit a low not seen since 2008, of just 5.9 per cent.