How Canadian companies can put immigration at the centre of their corporate and talent strategies

There are few places as favourable for immigrants as Canada, with its good jobs, a welcoming and diverse community, and a need for their skills. In return, immigrants help maintain and build Canada’s economic growth. This is an existential factor for Canada. Over the next decade, the country will be 100% dependent on immigration for its labour market and population growth.

But as good and necessary as this exchange is, it’s currently unequal and unsustainable. Challenges with skills accreditation, labour opportunities and social integration within Canada are setting the basis for potential social polarization and discontent. It’s also creating inefficiencies and gaps for the Canadian economy and diminishes the intellectual core of origin countries’ economic growth and development. This directly contributes to the growing equality gap between Canada and lower-income countries.

This could lead to an erosion of Canada’s reputation as a top destination for immigrants—threatening the country’s ability to recruit highly skilled international workers and limiting the growth of important business sectors.

In Canada, immigrants comprise*:

  • 54% of chemists

  • 41% of engineers

  • 39% of computer programmers

  • 36% of physicians

  • 33% of business owners with paid staff

  • 25% of healthcare workers

Integrating immigration into your workforce strategy

The private sector must play a more direct and central role, in collaboration with the public and civil sectors, to make sure it has access to the right people, talent and skills. This shift can help create and preserve value for businesses—but only if they put immigration at the centre of their corporate and talent strategies, rather than just as an input to those strategies.

Our community of solvers, including experts here in Canada and our colleagues from across our global network, recently explored this imperative facing Canadian businesses. We’ve shared our findings in a report examining corporate and talent strategies to help the immigration exchange between origin countries and Canada in a way that supports talent management and sustained growth opportunities.

There’s no time to waste. The health of your business is the health of your workforce. A purpose-led workforce strategy helps your organization differentiate itself and continue to grow.

Canada has a unique opportunity to address one of the world’s most pressing issues: the misalignment between countries with aging populations that need skills and talent, and those countries that are facing a burgeoning labour and skills overage, but don’t have enough jobs. Canadian businesses are competing with companies in other countries for this same talent. This makes it even more important for Canadian companies to confront this misalignment and make sure they have the people they need to grow their business.

The private sector is best suited to identify what jobs will be needed in the future, the skills needed for those jobs and the appropriate education, training and certifications required. The future of equitable immigration exchange—the driver for economic growth and industrial innovation in Canada—sits squarely in the laps of businesses like yours.

Are you ready to take the lead?

The report includes specific recommendations to help Canadian companies:

  • bridge the credential divide

  • build a sustainable talent pipeline

  • support accelerated integration

  • invest in origin countries

* Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. “Benefits of immigration to Canadian sectors.” Last modified May 25, 2022,


Get in touch with us to discuss how we can help your company navigate these issues

Stefanie Couture

Partner, Workforce of the Future, Federal Government, PwC Canada

+1 613 755 4354


Jean McClellan

National Solutions Leader & Workforce Transformed Leader, Calgary, PwC Canada

+1 403 509 7578


Owen Taylor

National Government & Public Sector Leader, Victoria, PwC Canada

+1 250 415 1224


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