The Province confirmed today that the International Post-Graduates (IPG) pilot project, conducted over the last three years, will become a permanent category of the Provincial Nominee Program.
The IPG is critical to ensuring B.C. is able to attract and retain highly skilled international post-graduates in the science and technology fields to support the BC Jobs Plan.
According to federal immigration statistics, B.C. has seen a 20 per cent decline in economic immigration in the last five years. Ministry labour market forecasts predict significant skilled-worker shortages over the next decade, especially in information technology and health science occupations.
As a recommendation of the Premier's Technology Council, the three-year IPG pilot began in mid-2010 to support the retention of B.C. international graduates. To be eligible, IPG applicants are required to fulfil the requirements for a master's or doctoral degree in natural, applied or health sciences from a B.C. post-secondary institution. To date, the PNP has nominated 734 highly-qualified post-graduates under the IPG pilot.
An evaluation of the International Post Graduate Pilot Project, conducted by NRG Research Group and completed in May of this year, indicates positive results:
- 67 per cent of nominees are employed and 24 per cent are pursuing further advanced studies (mainly master's graduates enrolled in a PhD).
- 88 per cent of employed nominees work in an occupation directly related to their graduate degree.
- Average income for employed nominees was $45,645 in 2012.
- 93 per cent of IPG nominees continue to live in B.C.
NRG surveyed a sample of 462 IPG nominees to measure labour market and other outcomes.
Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Responsible for Labour -
"With the expectation of a million new jobs by 2020 we know that B.C. will require an increased number of highly skilled workers. We want to retain the best and the brightest minds in our workforce to support the BC Jobs Plan, both British Columbian and international post-grads."
"As we grow our economy and increase economic development in our province, international post-graduates will provide expertise to support innovation that will result in a thriving technology sector in our province."
Amrik Virk, Minister of Advanced Education -
"British Columbia has a world-renowned post-secondary education system that attracts people from around the globe, including post graduate students. Making the pilot program permanent for international post-graduates is good news and supports our commitment to increase the number of international students here in British Columbia."
Bill Tam, president and CEO, British Columbia Technology Industry Association -
"Talent attraction and retention is a critical issue for B.C.'s technology companies and we are pleased to have the International Post Graduate program become a permanent part of B.C.'s Provincial Nominee Program."
"By encouraging highly skilled international graduates to build their careers in British Columbia, we retain the skilled talent needed to fuel our companies and the growth of our industry."
- From August 2010 to May 2013, the PNP nominated 734 IPG applicants, of which 93 per cent were master's graduates.
- Software engineers and designers (15 per cent) and computer programmers and interactive media developers (11 per cent) were the most-common occupations for employed nominees.
- Nominee applicants to the IPG category must satisfy the requirements for an eligible masters or doctorate degree from a recognized post-secondary institution in B.C. within the last two years.
- Applications for the BC PNP must be received within two years of the date shown on the final official transcript.
- International students in Canada who do not meet the criteria of this category may apply to the PNP under the International Graduates category if they have an offer of permanent full-time employment in BC.
- The PNP allows nominees to apply for expedited permanent residence through Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).
To learn more about Provincial Nominee Program and the International Post-Graduates category, visit: http://www.welcomebc.ca/home.aspx
Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Responsible for Labour