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Human Resources, Labour and Employment
Education
December 21, 2010

New International Graduate Retention Incentive Program Launched

A new initiative under the Provincial Government’s Youth Retention and Attraction Strategy will help international students who have graduated from recognized post-secondary institutions in the province stay in Newfoundland and Labrador.

"When international students choose to stay here after graduating, they offer numerous benefits to our province," said the Honourable Joan Burke, Acting Minister of Human Resources, Labour and Employment. "International graduates are an ideal source of skilled labour. They are already integrated into our communities, and because of their education here, they experience none of the barriers related to foreign credential recognition. This new initiative will reward those international graduates who have already chosen to remain in Newfoundland and Labrador and act as an incentive for future graduates."

Under the International Graduate Retention Incentive Program, international students who have graduated from a recognized post-secondary educational institution can apply to receive a one-time payment ranging from $1,000 to $2,500, depending on the length of time spent studying in the province. In addition to completing their education in the province, applicants must have been nominated through the Provincial Nominee Program, must have become permanent residents of Canada, and must be living and working in the province at least one year from the date of receiving permanent residency.

"By retaining the skills of international student graduates, Newfoundland and Labrador will be strengthened, and our economy will continue to prosper," said the Honourable Darin King, Minister of Education. "Through the International Graduate Retention Incentive Program, our government is pleased to provide a strong incentive for these students to remain in the province to build their careers and futures."

International students at the undergraduate level pay substantially higher tuition fees than Canadian students. In addition, Canadian students have access to grants and repayment assistance programs for which international students are not eligible. A recent study released by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade states that, on average, each international student contributes roughly $36,000 per year to the economy.

Minister Burke noted that the International Graduate Retention Incentive Program is the latest in a series of initiatives designed to help young people, as well as immigrants, stay and prosper in Newfoundland and Labrador.

"Through the Youth Retention and Attraction Strategy, along with the Office of Immigration and Multiculturalism, the Provincial Government is focused on making sure young people, both here at home and around the world, know that Newfoundland and Labrador is a place where you can build your career and follow your dreams," said Minister Burke.

Creating a Province of Choice: A Youth Retention and Attraction Strategy for Newfoundland and Labrador was launched on November 5, 2009. Developed by youth, for youth, in close collaboration with business, labour, and community leaders, the strategy is supported by a three-year $15 million budget and contains 41 action items to make Newfoundland and Labrador a province of choice for young people to live and work, now and in the future.

The Provincial Government has also made significant enhancements to make post-secondary education in Newfoundland and Labrador more affordable for residents through the introduction of up-front grants, the elimination of interest on the provincial portion of student loans, as well as the tuition freeze for public post-secondary institutions which benefits all Canadian students. In addition, under the Graduate Employment Program, the Department of Human Resources, Labour and Employment provides a 60 per cent wage subsidy to a maximum of $12,500 to private and not-for-profit employers to assist graduates of post-secondary education programs in obtaining employment related to their field of study.

Further information on the International Graduate Retention Incentive Program can be found at www.nlimmigration.ca.

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Media contacts:

Bradley Power
Director of Communications
Department of Human Resources, Labour and Employment
709-729-0753, 697-5216
bradleypower@govl.ca
Tara Power
Director of Communications
Department of Education
709-729-0048, 727-5953
tarapower@gov.nl.ca

2010 12 21                                                     10:20 a.m.


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