International Experience Canada Program: Pack your suit and go!

June, 11, 2014 by Vera Gavizon author workhoppers


In the past years more and more attention has been given to the imminent labor shortage Canada will soon be facing. However, recently some people and studies have tried really hard to debunk the idea that in a matter of two decades the labor demand in Canada will exceed its supply, and who can blame them, it is human nature to pretend everything is okay, it is okay, yep, wait… is it? Although no one wants to face that we are in a bit of a pickle in years to come in Canada, that my friends is (very possibly) the cold, hard truth and our Government has come up with a plan to hopefully alleviate this problem with the introduction of the IEC program or the International Experience Canada program.

So first, Hello? Where did all the people go?

Canada is kind of big right? Why would it be having issues in terms of working population if it has been doing alright for itself for quite a bit now?  Well, there are three main reasons why Canada will soon be facing a labor shortage:

Falling birthrate:

Ah, remember the good ol’ days when mom and dad met each other, fell helplessly in love, married, and had five or six children? Well, come back to reality, today people are just not that into having babies anymore, or at least, definitely not at the same rate. It is not that we don’t find babies super cute but like we have other stuff to do first (aka career, travel, buy pretty things for ourselves since God knows we have been working hard enough for it!!- see, I am getting flustered just by typing this). I am part of the Y generation, we have seen failing marriages all over the place, we have seen women oppression in the past, we treat birth control as the most magical pill ever, we are basically in a permanent mid-life crisis. So yeah, reason #1:  Canada is currently and will be experiencing the lowest birth rates it has ever witnessed.

Retiring boomers:

As Baby Boomers are starting to leave the job market and retiring, Generation X workers are beginning to assume leadership roles in organizations, while Generation Y (Millennial) are paying for Baby Boomer’s retirement by entering and slowly rank-climbing positions in the workplace; in fact, by 2031 Generation Y employees entering the market will be responsible for replacing all the Baby Boomers leaving the workplace. Thus, instead of having three generations in the workplace, for a bit of time, we will only have two generations working in Canada; and that is normal and all but the problem is that there are not enough of the newer generations to make their way into the job place. Reason #2: An aging workforce that has no replacements on the bench.

Skilled shortage:

So Canada is doing well and that is great! But if we do not have enough skilled workers to sustain the economic growth it is currently going through, growth will be equal to plateau soon enough. In other words, Canada’ s growing economy needs assistance. Thus, reason #3: Demand is increasing, supply not so much.

The International Experience Canada programs, operated by the Government of Canada, enable thousands of students and young professionals (of participating countries), between the ages of 18 and 35, to come and work temporarily in Canada for up to 18 months.

For employers, IEC programs provide access to a pool of qualified professionals who are able to come and work without the employer involvement in the visa/work permit process or the Labor Market Opinion (LMO).

Moreover, there are 4 different program categories:

1) Young professionals

2) Internships

3) Summer jobs for students

4) Working holiday

 So what is really neat about this program and why Workhoppers backs up this initiative is that in order to meet labour demands, Canada has decided to use temporary workers as a viable solution not only to address the future deficit of young skilled workers, but also as a way to further diversify the country. Without a doubt, diversity of talent and culture increases innovation, quality of service, expertise, and countless other benefits within an organization. In fact, in the increasingly globalized reality we live in, diversity in the workplace is the future. Furthermore, it is clear that flexible and temporary work is needed more than ever and the implementation of IEC is the perfect example of how even governments have come to this realization. IEC gives international, young employees the opportunity to visit Canada and increase their experience in their working field, while employers get the chance of meeting their labor demands with the added value of diversity.

The most popular countries taking advantage of this opportunity are: France, Ireland, Australia, UK, Japan, Korea and New Zealand.




For companies, the IEC program allows them to rapidly source for international skills from an amazing gigantic pool of individuals. And all of this can be set and implemented in 8 weeks.

Everyone here at Workhoppers is always excited to see movements that support flexible, non-traditional opportunities for workers! Hop on the trend as well!

For more information on the program or more details about it, visit the IEC government site.

And if you are a participant of the International Experience program with Canada, find temporary jobs now!

Start now


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