Business Leaders Want Ottawa to Help International Students Work in Canada

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce has passed a resolution that calls on the federal government to change its rules so international students could gain more work experience while studying in Canada, and have more time after graduation to find a job here.

The Fredericton Chamber of Commerce submitted the resolution at the annual general meeting as part of its efforts to attract and retain more international students, said Krista Ross, Fredericton chamber CEO.

“The measures we are advocating for will allow international students to obtain more Canadian work experience, which is important for employers,” said Ross in a release. “This measure also encourages these students to make connections with business and the community generally while they are studying – which is key for retention efforts.”

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce hosted its annual general meeting and conference in Fredericton over the past weekend.

The Fredericton chamber prepared the resolution with the help of the New Brunswick Student Alliance (NBSA) and the Canadian Alliance of Student Association.

“It was important to us to work with the student community in order to ensure that our recommendations were targeted to international students’ specific needs,” said Ross. “This measure addresses some of the big issues in New Brunswick such as skills, entrepreneurship, aging and declining population.”

Sara Camus, chair of the NBSA’s Board of Directors, said the resolution will help advance the cause of students who want to gain work experience and find a job in Canada after graduation.

“This is good news for international students in the province and the country,” said Camus. “Having the business communities, especially the ones here in New Brunswick, united in sponsoring international students in the province is a huge step forward to ensuring they are welcomed and treated fairly here.”

The Fredericton chamber has been doing ongoing work with both immigration and student retention.

“Earlier this month, the chamber signed a two-year agreement with the NBSA that gives their members – including nearly 10,000 post-secondary students in Fredericton – access to our networking events, committees and member rates on larger events,” said Ross. “We also founded the Choose Fredericton event and campaign and run three immigrant-entrepreneurship support programs.”

Robert Burroughs, the NBSA’s executive director, said the partnership with the Fredericton Chamber is good for students.

“This is further proof of the strong relationship that our Alliance has with the Fredericton Chamber,” said Burroughs. “From our partnership to the resolution’s successful national adoption… this is an auspicious start to the school year for all of us in the postsecondary world.”