Every year, Nova Scotia spends around $6.4 million on immigrant settlement services without knowing if the money is being correctly spent to meet the Atlantic Canadian province newcomers’ requirements.
Also, in a report released this month, Nova Scotia’s auditor general Kim Adair stated that once migrants arrive in Nova Scotia, the long-term retention of these persons is important to promoting economic growth. As well, due to the importance of the immigrant’s retention, the immigration department had not completed the settlement needs assessments of migrants or evaluated whether these necessities are being addressed through the settlement services provided by the division.
The province’s immigration division funnels about $6.4 million to settlement service providers throughout the territory every year. Though, because of the department’s assessment lack of the settlement needs of migrants and examination of the services being funded, the sector does not know if the value is got from the funding.
In the auditor general’s report to Nova Scotia, the auditor general makes 15 references for reforms to the immigration department. The provincial government has approved all those recommendations, including a call to evaluate its settlement services. Moreover, Nova Scotia has promised to develop a strategy to improve its funding distribution for settlement services by March next year.
15 Ways To Respond To Labour Market Requirements
Read the below lines to know the 15 ways to improve the provincial immigration system
1. Documented procedure development and implementation to guide staff in finding and answering labor market requirements including:
2. Training needs assessment of the Immigration and Population Growth Branch to guide the training plan development and implementation for new hires and present workers. Mandatory training must be delivered to all staff with certification maintained to support the conclusion.
3. Often evaluation of the procedures for the assessment of the applications to the NSPNP and the AIP. Procedures must be frequently reinforced with staff, with clear prospects provided on how applications are to be assessed, including steps taken to validate information provided by candidates and necessities for the documentation of the results.
4. The provincial immigration program’s quality assurance process with the information collected through the procedure used to improve the assessment of the application to provincial immigration programs.
5. Extra performance indicators to measure the work undertaken to attract and hold immigrants to the province, including considering whether the performance assessment basis provided by the expert in 2020 can be used by the department to expand performance reporting.
6. A settlement assessment service within the province including:
Detailed plans must be developed to observe the execution of the consultant’s recommendations to improve settlement services, including timelines for completion, resource requirements, and regular status reporting to track implementation.
7. A requirement that all the evaluation committee members be recognized to review offers for funding through the Settlement Funding and Labour Market Integration Funding programs to sign a conflict of interest verifications.
8. Improvement of the documentation of the proposals reviews to the Settlement Funding and the Labour Market Integration Funding programs. Particularly, there must be a certification that clearly explains why settlement service providers were permitted or denied along with a clarification to support the funding amount approved.
9. A necessity is that settlement service providers offer yearly assessed financial statements and documentation, such as invoices and proof of payment, to support the information included in quarterly reports. The supporting certification must be used to evaluate whether the information included in quarterly reports is correct.
10. The procedures review and update for monitoring the funding contracts with settlement service providers to exactly reflect the existing procedures followed and provide clear direction to workers.
11. Rules and procedures to guide staff in the documentation and suspected scam investigation including:
12. An interest policy-specific conflict to the Immigration and Population Growth Branch.
13. Comprehensive immigration fraud training for workers within the Immigration and Population Growth Branch, including:
14. Cooperation between the Department of Labour, Skills, and Immigration and the Internal Audit Centre to completely respond to the 2020 fraud risk assessment recommendations. So, the risks identified are addressed and sufficiently managed.
15. Processes to evaluate the company and individual compliance with the provincial immigration program necessities.
A random selection and risk-based methods combination can be used for selecting companies and persons for compliance evaluations with research, interviews, and documentation review used to weigh compliance with the provincial immigration program’s necessities. When instances of nonconformity are identified, the auditor general suggests establishing procedures that summarize how this will be addressed.
Immigration to Nova Scotia is on track to end this year up 53.5%, up by 4,902 new permanent residents over last year, and reach the record-setting level of 14,062 according to the trend in the first eight months of 2022, exposes the newest data from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
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