The federal government on Jan. 22 capped the number of international student permits over the next two years. It will approve approximately 360,000 undergraduate study permits for 2024 — a 35% reduction from 2023.
More than 800,000 foreign students were in Canada in 2022, up from 214,000 a decade earlier. Each province and territory will get permits according to population, and Ontario is likely to see a 50% cut from present numbers.
“Driving schools in Brampton are fed by international students,” said Manan Gupta, regulated Canadian immigration consultant and president of Skylake Immigration, told Trucknews.com. “Their intake is going to suffer.”
Surinder Batth, director of Global Truck Academy in Brampton agreed that driving schools will be hit hard. “We rarely get trainees who are permanent residents, they are mostly students or former students on a work permit,” he said.
Raj Walia, owner of Trukademy based in Mississauga, Ont., said international students form a large part of trainees at truck driving schools in the area. He added there are schools in Brampton whose trainee intake is 60-70% international students, and they will be affected.
“It will impact the training business and the overall trucking industry down the road,” he said.
Trucknews.com interviewed a 23-year-old international student undergoing truck driving training. He says the process is expensive.
He pays $550 for a room which he shares with another student. There are six students living in the Brampton home, sharing three bedrooms. Rent, food, travel and phone expenses, along with basic necessities cost about $2,000 a month.
“It is difficult to manage studies, work and truck driver training. Some things suffer,” N.S. said. “Studies and truck training are going well but work is suffering and I cannot earn money. Money is a problem.”
From September, work permits will not be granted for students graduating from colleges that operate under a public-private partnership (PPP) model.
There are other challenges, Navi Aujla, executive director, Labour Community Services of Peel, tells Trucknews.com. She says said the way the immigration system is set up allows for exploitation of workers.
“People get into trucking to obtain their permanent residency, and they are being taken advantage of,” she said, referring to instances where drivers have not been paid their wages.
Aujla added that the government blames immigrants for problems, but it is the government that has created a system that makes people vulnerable and allows employers to exploit them.
Full article here.