On June 12, 2017 Canada’s Department of Employment and Social Development introduced the Global Talent Stream.

Employers are eligible for the Global Talent Stream if they are hiring unique and specialized talent and if that talent has bent referred to the Global Talent Stream by one of ESDC’s designated partners.  The list of designated referral partners for the Global Talent Stream includes the following organizations (as of March 21, 2018):

  • Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
  • BC Tech Association
  • Business Development Bank of Canada
  • Canadian Economic Development for Quebec Regions
  • City of Hamilton’s Economic Development Office
  • Communitech Corporation
  • Council of Canadian Innovators
  • Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario
  • Global Affairs Canada’s Trade Commissioner Service
  • Government of Alberta, Alberta Labour
  • Government of British Columbia, Ministry of Jobs, Trade and Technology
  • Government of Manitoba, Manitoba Education and Training
  • Government of Prince Edward Island, Island Investment Development Inc.
  • Government of Saskatchewan, Ministry of the Economy
  • Halifax Regional Business and Community Economic Development Association
  • ICT Association of Manitoba (ICTAM)
  • Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada – Accelerated Growth Service
  • Invest Ottawa
  • London Economic Development Corporation
  • MaRS Discovery District
  • National Research Council – Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP)
  • Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration
  • Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Growth
  • Privy Council Office, Special Projects Team
  • Vancouver Economic Commission
  • Venn Innovation

Employers are also be eligible if they are seeking to hire foreign workers in highly skilled occupations in the technology professions, including computer engineers, information systems analysts, software designers, programmers, web designers, etc. The full list of eligible occupations is:

  • Engineering managers;
  • Architecture and science managers;
  • Computer and information systems managers;
  • Computer engineers;
  • Mathematicians and statisticians;
  • Information systems analysts and consultants;
  • Database analysts and data administrators;
  • Software engineers and designers;
  • Computer programmers and interactive media developers;
  • Web designers and developers;
  • Information systems technicians;
  • Producer, technical, creative and artistic developer; and
  • Digital Media Designers.

There are two main benefits to Canadian employers for participating in the Global Talent Stream.  First, ESDC is committing to processing Labour Market Impact Assessment (“LMIA”) applications, which are the applications that employers typically must submit if they wish to hire a foreign national on an employer-specific work permit, submitted under the Global Talent Stream within 10 business days.  Second, LMIA applications submitted under the Global Talent Stream do not have a minimum recruitment requirement.  This means that the time that it takes an employer to get a LMIA will go from typically around 8-12 weeks to 10 days.

Employers participating in the Global Talent Stream must develop a Labour Market Benefits Plan in which the employers commit to undertaking activities that will either create jobs or increase skills and training investments for Canadians and permanent residents.  Such activities include increased hiring of Canadians, establishing educational partnerships with post-secondary institutes, establishing internship positions, implementing policies to support disadvantaged groups, directly mentoring Canadians or permanent residents, etc. ESDC will monitor the progress of an employer’s Labour Market Benefits Plan at regular six month intervals.

As per the ESDC website, the benefits and corresponding activities that an employer can choose include:

  • Job creation – For this benefit, employers will need to track the number of jobs either directly connected to the foreign national hired or the overall job growth within the company. Examples of activities to support this benefit could include, but are not limited to:
    • Hiring additional Canadians or permanent residents to support the foreign worker in their role; and
    • Increasing the number of Canadians and permanent residents employed full time and part-time by the employer.
  • Investment in skills and training – For this benefit, employers will need to invest in skills and training for Canadians and permanent residents to strengthen the labour market. While it may not be possible in all cases, efforts should focus on addressing the labour shortage for the occupation that the foreign national is being hired to fill. Examples of activities to support this complementary benefit could include, but are not limited to:
    • increasing investments in in-house skills and training;
    • establishing or enhancing educational partnerships with local or regional post-secondary institutes or with other organizations that are supporting skills and training (for example, providing post-secondary institutes with free licenses or other access to specialized software that will help build student skills on key industry tools);
    • providing paid co-op or internship opportunities for Canadians and permanent residents at the firm; and
    • participation in work-integrated learning or other federal and provincial skills and training programs.
  • Increase in workplace diversity – For this benefit, employers will need to illustrate how they will increase the diversity within their workplace. Examples of activities to support this complementary benefit could include, but are not limited to:
    • developing and implementing policies to support the hiring of underrepresented groups, (for example, hosting and/or attending events that support the professional development and/or hiring of underrepresented groups in the labour market and women in high-skilled technical and/or leadership roles at the firm); and,
    • increase the number and percentage of new employees who are members of underrepresented groups (i.e., youth, indigenous, newcomers, and persons with disabilities) and women
  • Knowledge transfer – For this benefit, employers will need to demonstrate how the foreign worker will transfer knowledge to Canadians and permanent residents. Knowledge transfer activities can be direct (for example, the foreign worker directly training Canadians or permanent residents) or indirect (for example, having the foreign worker improve the company’s good and services or business practices). Examples of activities to support this complementary benefit could include, but are not limited to:
    • providing direct training Canadians or permanent residents, including supporting employees to travel to and attend industry or sector conferences relevant to the development of their specialized skillset;
    • ensuring that the highly skilled foreign workers directly supervise and mentor Canadian workers at the firm to support knowledge transfer
    • develop a new good or service linked to their unique skill set
    • significantly improve an existing good or service linked to their skill set; and
    • develop new best practices or policies linked to their skill set
  • Enhanced company performance – For this benefit, employers will need to show how their company’s performance has improved since hiring the foreign worker. Examples of activities to support this complementary benefit could include, but are not limited to:
    • increased growth of revenue, employment or investment
    • increased financing or funding
    • increased number of clients/projects/contracts or entry into new markets; and
    • avoid loss of Canadian or permanent residents jobs
  • Best company practices or policies – For this benefit, employers will need to implement best practices in their workplace. Examples of activities to support this complementary benefit could include, but are not limited to:
    • develop/enhance partnerships with organizations that assist with the identification of top domestic capital (for example, Ventura for Canada)
    • develop or improve best company practices or policies related to attraction/retention of Canadian workforce (for example, by supporting code sprints and hackathons to hire new employees); and,
    • number and percentage increase of Canadians receiving relocation supports (to facilitate interprovincial mobility).

I have embedded a sample Labour Market Benefit Plan below.