Francophone community to promote NWT at events in France and Morocco
Representatives from Yellowknife’s Francophone community are heading to France and Morocco in November to to encourage immigration to the NWT.
“The idea is for Canadian provinces and territories to go to the Francophone areas and try and attract to bilingual skilled labor to move into that territory,” explained François Afane, the executive director of Conseil de développement économique des Territoires du Nord-Ouest (CDÉTNO).
Nearly 4,000 potential job candidates are expected to attend the two Destination Canada Mobility Forums, which will be hosted by the Embassy of Canada to France in Paris and Rabat, Morocco at the end of November.
At the forum, CDÉTNO will be promoting NWT jobs on behalf of employers. So far, they are bringing job postings for hospitality and tourism work, as well as for administration and construction jobs with them to share with attendees.
CDÉTNO encouraged other NWT employers who want their job postings shared – for free – at the forum to reach out to them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We know that there is a shortage of labor and everybody’s crumbling,” said Afane.
“The more job offers we have, the more interest we’ll get from candidates, and the more likely we’ll be able to attract people in as many domains as possible.”
Reflecting on the ongoing healthcare staffing crisis in the NWT, Afane said, “We are definitely going to start looking into how can we attract people in the health industry to be interested.
“We know that there’s a lot of red tape and challenges to go through that process [of working in health care in another country] but that doesn’t discourage or prevent us from at least trying to convince people to come this way and maybe go through the process.”
Afane said on average around four to five people move to the NWT to work after attending the forum each year.
“For example, we have a firefighter who works for the City of Yellowknife that we convinced to move to Yellowknife through Destination Canada. We have have engineers, and we have people in communication and marketing,” he listed.
It will be the sixteenth time CDÉTNO participates in the annual forum, but the first time Fédération franco-ténoise – Le Réseau en immigration francophone des Territoires du Nord-Ouest (FFT – RIFTNO) has received funding to participate.
Abby Schelew, RIFTNO’s coordinator, will be promoting the Francophone services available in the NWT and explaining what it’s like to live in the in the territory to attendees.
She believes sharing her personal experience of moving to the NWT will help encourage others to do the same.
“I came here to live my life in French and be part of the French community and it’s certainly fulfilling for me,” she said.
“I’m really passionate about the NWT and I’m excited to tell people about the types of adventures they can have up here. It’s such a curious place, I think I can communicate that well and with a lot of enthusiasm.”
Schelew also encouraged local organizations with settlement information for Francophone immigrants to reach out to her at email@example.com, as she’s compiling resources in a virtual kiosk which candidates will be able to access online.
“Quebec is very attractive but we’re hoping this will bring new people [to the Northwest Territories],” she said.