Canada’s skilled workforce

Canadian talent drives investment in Canada

Invest in Canada plays a key role in promoting Canada’s highly skilled workforce to foreign investors. We work closely with the provinces and territories, municipal governments, industry groups and associations to showcase Canadian capabilities from coast to coast to coast.

Our strength lies in our people

FDI announcements in 2019 are expected to create nearly 22,600 jobs Canada-wide as a result of foreign investments. Companies like Amazon, HSBC, General Motors and Shell are expanding operations, spearheading new projects and reinvesting in Canada. Among the main drivers for these investments is our people.

  • #1 at attracting highly skilled immigrants 
  • 2.8M+ STEM graduates
  • 219,425 jobs announced as a result of FDI from 2010‒2019
Employee dressed in safety gear, operating heavy machinery in the Novabus factory.
Novabus employee at work in Saint-Eustache, Quebec

High-quality workforce

Canada has the most highly educated workforce in the world. Nearly 58% of Canadians have a post-secondary education. Canadian universities, colleges and vocational institutions are recognized worldwide for producing a highly skilled, globally competitive workforce that fuels the country’s growth.

Our reputation as an innovative nation is built on our diverse, multiskilled population. Canada is home to great thinkers, hard workers and innovators. We continue to attract new foreign direct investment based on the quality of our workforce.

“Our Canadian staff are some of our strongest assets. They are hard workers and have strong communication and interpersonal skills, which make them very easy for the rest of our staff to work with. They also have a strong affinity and sense of loyalty to the company. They naturally become great ambassadors for the company in their interactions with our farmers, suppliers and customers.”
Vishal Vijay, Head of Business Development, Agrocorp International Investment locations: Moose Jaw and Cut Knife, SK

From ‘brain drain’ to brain gain

Canada has become a world leader in attracting and retaining highly skilled workers. We now draw the highest proportion of highly skilled immigrants among OECD members, including the U.S. and U.K. In recent years, Toronto and Vancouver have recruited more technology workers than San Francisco and Seattle combined.

Canada is increasingly attracting and retaining top international students from around the world. In 2018, 721,000 international students came to Canada to study. Many of them choose to stay after their studies thanks to options that allow them to fast-track permanent residency. Nearly 54,000 former students became Canadian permanent residents in 2018.

Grieg Seafood employees sitting at a table with their daughter in their home in Newfoundland.
Grieg Seafood employees Eduardo Toyes (Feed Nutritionist) and Melissa Fragoso (Aquaculture Technician) at home in Newfoundland

Fueling the Canadian economy

For Canadians, the benefits are many. Foreign direct investment is providing a higher standard of living, with greater levels of employment and better, higher paying jobs. It’s supporting our productivity and cementing our spot in the global economy. Through foreign investment, we’re feeding into global value chains and tapping into larger, more diverse global markets.

“Canadians make up approximately 19% of our employees worldwide. There’s a tremendous amount of mining experience, capacity and skills that crosses generations and supports investment in Canada. Our people make our operations in Canada both successful and sustainable.”
John Mullally, Senior Director for Sustainability and External Relations in Canada, Newmont Canada Investment locations: Eleonore Mine, Eeyou Istchee/James Bay, Québec; Musselwhite Mine, Northwestern Ontario; Porcupine Mine, Timmins, Ontario; Coffee Project near Dawson City, Yukon
Two Roquette scientists conducting research.
Roquette Canada scientists in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba

Bringing the brightest minds to Canada

The Government of Canada offers programs to attract and retain a highly skilled workforce from overseas. The Global Skills Strategy  has allowed companies to recruit more than 40,000 skilled workers to Canada since its launch in 2017. By streamlining application processing times and work permit exemptions for researchers and workers, this program gives companies operating in Canada an unparalleled competitive advantage and access to top international talent.