Canada has launched an immigration initiative tailored to skilled workers, with a particular focus on welders, plumbers, and professionals from other trades.
The newly unveiled streamlined immigration pathway is poised to revolutionize the entry process for these crucial vocations and inject fresh talent into the Canadian economy.
The announcement made by the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), underscores the nation’s proactive stance in attracting highly skilled individuals from around the world. Under this innovative scheme, the Express Entry (EE) system, a hallmark of Canadian immigration, is now meticulously designed to cater to the specific needs of welders, plumbers, and other skilled tradespeople.
The Canadian government seeks to expedite the immigration process for these professionals, who play a pivotal role in the nation’s infrastructure development and economic growth. By granting them a streamlined immigration pathway, Canada aims to bridge the workforce gap and foster innovation across industries that rely on these specialized skills.
Marc Miller, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, explained the urgency of this initiative while at the same time acknowledging the critical role skilled trades professionals play in the country’s progress.
“This focused selection round recognizes the essential contribution of skilled trades’ workers to our economy,” Miller stated. “We anticipate welcoming more of these skilled individuals to Canada as they invigorate our workforce.”
Canada’s Express Entry system, a state-of-the-art online platform, serves as the primary gateway for skilled workers seeking permanent residency. This new streamlined pathway is expected to not only expedite the immigration process but also amplify the recognition of skilled trades as a driving force behind Canada’s economic engine.
In a concerted effort to stimulate economic growth and innovation, the Canadian government recently committed to welcoming an estimated 500,000 immigrants per year by 2025, totaling around 1.5 million newcomers over the next three years.
Nigeria, in particular, has witnessed a significant surge in its representation among Canadian immigrants. Last year, the number of Nigerian immigrants to Canada skyrocketed by an impressive 41.9 percent, reflecting the growing appeal of Canada’s progressive immigration policies and opportunities for skilled professionals.
As the world takes note of Canada’s proactive and inclusive approach to immigration, the unveiling of the new streamlined pathway for welders, plumbers, and other skilled tradespeople marks a pivotal moment in the nation’s ongoing efforts to strengthen its workforce and shape a more prosperous future for all.
Nigeria Holds $783 Million in Blocked Funds, IATA Engages with Government for Resolution
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) reported that as of August Nigeria holds approximately $783 million in blocked funds belonging to various airlines.
This significant financial concern was communicated via an official statement released by the trade association.
Kamil Al Awadhi, IATA’s Regional Vice-President for Africa and the Middle East, has been actively engaged in discussions with the Federal Government in an effort to find a resolution to this pressing issue.
Foreign airlines operating within Nigeria have faced ongoing challenges in repatriating their commercial revenues due to a prolonged shortage of foreign exchange in the country.
The official statement from IATA stated, “Mr. Al Awadhi also held discussions with Nigeria’s newly appointed Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, the Honorable Minister Festus Keyamo. During these discussions, he urged the new government to maintain and strengthen consultations with the industry while developing both short-term and long-term solutions to address foreign exchange access issues for both domestic and foreign carriers.”
Highlighting the severity of the situation, the statement said, “As of August 2023, Nigeria accounts for $783 million of airlines’ blocked funds.”
According to the statement, IATA commends the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) for its commitment to enhancing infrastructure and service standards at Lagos’s Murtala Muhammad International Airport within a twelve-month timeframe.
In related news, IATA had previously raised concerns about safety, security, and passenger service levels at Lagos Airport in the past year.
A recent high-level meeting between IATA and FAAN, represented by Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer Kabir Mohammed, concluded with FAAN committing to expedite improvements in these areas as part of a corrective action plan.
Kamil Al Awadhi, IATA’s Regional Vice-President for Africa and the Middle East, said, “We welcome FAAN’s commitment to upgrade Lagos Airport, which serves as a vital domestic and international hub connecting Nigeria to the rest of Africa and beyond. This strategic focus not only strengthens the aviation sector but also acts as a catalyst for Nigeria’s broader economic and social progress. IATA is ready to provide support and expertise to FAAN to ensure that international standards are met through the corrective action plan. Safety, security, and efficient infrastructure are crucial for a well-functioning air transport system, as is the ability of airlines to access the revenues they generate in Africa.”
Federal Government Reopens D Wing of Murtala Muhammed International Airport
In a bid to address the escalating flight disruptions and enhance the efficiency of air travel, the Federal Government has officially reopened the D Wing of the old international terminal at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos.
The move is part of a broader effort to tackle the challenges faced by both travelers and airlines operating in Nigeria.
This challenge emerged following the sudden relocation of foreign airlines from the international terminal of the Lagos airport to an adjoining new terminal that opened in March.
The announcement of the reopening of the old international terminal, which had temporarily closed for renovation, was made by the Minister of Aviation, Mr. Festus Keyamo, on Monday.
According to a statement signed by the Director of Public Affairs & Consumer Protection at FAAN (Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria), Abdullahi Yakubu-Funtua, Minister Keyamo emphasized the government’s unwavering commitment to improving the aviation sector and ensuring passengers enjoy a seamless travel experience.
The statement reads in part, “We are pleased to inform the traveling public that Hon. Minister of Aviation, Mr. Festus Keyamo, has graciously permitted the use of the D Wing of the Old Murtala Muhammed International Terminal to complement the New International Terminal, aimed at facilitating the smooth movement of passengers through the airport.”
Minister Keyamo had originally ordered airlines to relocate to the new terminal starting on October 1, 2023. However, FAAN took the initiative to forcibly relocate the international carriers to the new facility on Wednesday.
The sudden relocation by FAAN coincided with a fire incident that occurred in part of the baggage hall of MMIA on the same day. This incident compelled the agency to evacuate passengers and personnel from the facility.
In response to the situation, Mr. Abdullahi Yakubu-Funtua, the Director of Media at FAAN, stated that the airport fire and other developments affecting power supply had necessitated the abrupt relocation of foreign carriers. He assured the public that FAAN is actively addressing the situation.
The utilization of the D Wing for passenger processing has already commenced, promising improved travel experiences for all passengers.
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