New ‘Ideas Lab’ and English Language Testing will Support Immigration

Immigration, Skills and Labour
January 11, 2021

The Honourable Gerry Byrne, Minister of Immigration, Skills and Labour today announced over $700,000 to further support immigration at College of the North Atlantic (CNA) and Memorial University’s Grenfell Campus.

With assistance from the Canada – Newfoundland and Labrador Labour Market Development Agreement, an investment of $600,000 over two years will establish an Economic Immigration Ideas Lab, located at the Newfoundland and Labrador Workforce Innovation Centre, administered by CNA from its Corner Brook campus. The lab will bring together leaders in communities, business, labour, and post-secondary education to incubate new approaches to increase immigration.

The Provincial Government is also investing more than $100,000 to ensure newcomers to Western Newfoundland and Labrador are able to complete required English language testing. This funding will enable Memorial University’s Grenfell Campus to become a designated Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) testing site.

Despite challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Provincial Government continues to plan for future growth and to meet the 2022 target of increasing immigration to 2,500 new permanent residents annually, subject to the established COVID-19 special measures orders and guidelines.

“All successful immigration initiatives rely on collaboration between government and community partners. The Economic Immigration Ideas Lab at College of the North Atlantic will help ensure innovative ideas based on the unique experience of leaders in Newfoundland and Labrador are brought to the forefront. Similarly, building English language testing capability at Memorial University’s Grenfell campus is a smart investment to ensure newcomers to the western region are able to complete more of the immigration process close to home. Newcomers who study at CNA Corner Brook and the Memorial University Grenfell campus get to experience the beauty, excitement, and joy of living in one of the most beautiful corners of the world – and they often want to stay.”
Honourable Gerry Byrne
Minister of Immigration, Skills and Labour

“College of the North Atlantic has seen a tremendous growth in its international student population over the past several years. These students have contributed immensely to our campuses and our communities, whether it is culturally or with their ideas, enthusiasm, and participation in the workforce. We are confident the Economic Immigration Ideas Lab is another way we can cultivate an environment that is more attractive in retaining them once they graduate. We appreciate every opportunity to work with the province to make this a success.”
Liz Kidd, President and CEO
College of the North Atlantic

“Supporting internationalization is of utmost importance for the region and the province. Over the past decade the number of international students at Grenfell Campus, MUN, has grown more than four-fold. This new testing site will give us agency to strengthen international growth in our region and throughout the province, and will uphold our goal to sustain overall enrolment, enhance diversity, and help attract and produce highly educated and skilled newcomers for Newfoundland and Labrador.”
Dr. Jeff Keshen
Vice-president (Grenfell campus) Memorial University

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Media contacts
Ryan Crocker
Immigration, Skills and Labour
709-729-1795, 725-9595

Michelle Barry
College of the North Atlantic

Pamela Gill
Grenfell Campus, Memorial University of Newfoundland