Hiring International Talent

With the labour market in St. John’s metro becoming more competitive, businesses are increasingly looking to recruit international talent. Immigration is key to fulfilling labour market demands and there are several pathways to hiring.

Photo: Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash

The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador assists employers with their recruitment, retention and skills development needs. The Office of Immigration and Multiculturalism (OIM) regularly hosts information sessions specifically for employers. If you are an employer within Newfoundland and Labrador and would like to learn more about how OIM can help address your labour shortages, contact [email protected].  

The Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP) is a pathway to permanent residency for skilled workers and international graduates of Canadian institutions who want to work and live in Atlantic Canada. The program helps employers hire qualified candidates for jobs they haven’t been able to fill with the local labour market. 

Tony Bliznakov, owner of Venice Pizzeria, successfully used the Atlantic Immigration Program to help staff his business. It was a win-win for Tony and his newcomer staff, and it was a much easier process than he expected. Venice Pizzeria: Atlantic Immigration Program Success Story

The Government of Canada recently announced several immigration measures to help attract top talent in high-growth industries in an effort to fuel innovation and drive emerging technologies. The Tech Talent Strategy includes plans to update ongoing immigration programs, develop new programs, and leverage targeted draws through Canada’s Express Entry system.

TaskForceNL has also recently initiated a program to work with employers and industry associations and municipalities to facilitate connections to immigrant job seekers.

The steps an employer will need to take to hire and assist a prospective international employee in obtaining necessary work authorization, will ultimately depend on the individual scenario. Find answers to your questions about hiring a foreign worker, including how to hire and what your obligations are at the Government of Canada Help Centre.

City Initiatives

Post-secondary students represent 20% of the total City of St. John’s population.

City staff welcome new students to St. John's

The City of St. John’s continues to partner with the College of the North Atlantic and Memorial University to welcome students and newcomers to help them settle in and feel at home. Welcome Week allows us to engage and connect with students and is the first step in encouraging them to choose St. John’s as a place to live and work. Students form a large and important part of our community adding vitality, diversity, and culture to the city, not to mention, an immense source of talent. These students are the future of St. John’s, they are the leaders of tomorrow and part of our role is to ensure they want to stay here to become employees and employers in Newfoundland and Labrador. 


News Briefing

NL Startup community only province in Atlantic Canada growing

Entrevestor's 2022 Atlantic Canada Startup Report concludes the Atlantic Canadian startup industry saw modest growth in 2022, but still reached 807 firms. Though the growth rate was low, the total employment figure is the highest number ever seen with 9,400 employed in the sector in Atlantic Canada. St. John’s and the Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) startup community led the region in launching new companies. About one-fifth of NL’s companies were launched in 2022 – a far higher percentage than the 14 percent recorded by the Atlantic Canadian startup community overall. Oceantech is the fastest-growing sector in the region and, in St. John’s, the medtech segment is hot as Bounce Health Innovation has been nurturing young companies, working closely with Memorial University's Centre for Entrepreneurship and Eastern Health, the province’s largest health authority. The report also highlights the admirable mark Newfoundland and Labrador has made in nurturing startups headed by immigrants. Entrevestor produces data and news on Atlantic Canadian startups.

Atlantic IP Advantage Program

Springboard Atlantic, a network of Atlantic Canadian Universities and colleges connecting industry with researchers, new Atlantic Intellectual Property (IP) Advantage program, will help startups protect their ideas and innovations with IP. The program will assist startups in Atlantic Canada develop a robust IP strategy and implement it, while raising awareness of IP in the region. Startups can apply for funding of up to $50,000 and have up to 90 percent of costs covered to develop an IP strategy. There is an additional $25,000 available to execute the strategy, also with 90 percent covered by Springboard’s program. Startups must be working with business incubators or accelerators to be eligible for this funding. There is also a requirement to take IP training before applying. Atlantic IP Advantage is one of five regional programs to execute IP training & funding across Canada with partnership and funding from the federal government.

New job accelerator and growth program

A new Job Accelerator and Growth Program, created to increase investment in Newfoundland and Labrador, offers eligible applicants with payroll rebates to encourage the creation of new jobs. This program incentivizes businesses to make a commitment to the province and invest in the growth of the local economy. Get more information Job Accelerator and Growth Program - Industry, Energy and Technology (gov.nl.ca).

At a Glance

Reaffirming its commitment to provide air access to St. John's, WestJet's winter schedule features new year-round service to Calgary for the first time ever as well as the return of popular service to sunny Florida. Read the full story.

Congratulations to the St. John's Farmers' Market (SJFM) who are celebrating their 15th anniversary and 5th year at their current home at 245 Freshwater Road. DYK? The conversion of the former Metrobus depot to the current St. John’s Community Market was an economic development initiative of the City of St. John's.

The SJFM continues to offer budding entrepreneurs and creators the opportunity to grow their businesses while providing community space and an important lift to the local economy. Read the full CBC story.

Photo: Ritchie Perez

Be sure to check out Downtown St. John's offering of many wonderful places to eat, shop, relax and explore. Read the full post.

Government of Canada Business Supports

Canada Digital Adoption Program helps small businesses thrive in the digital economy 

Have a small to medium-sized business? Looking for support to adopt new technology?The Canada Digital Adoption Program (CDAP) may be designed for you. Not only do the two available grants help fund business operations relating to e-commerce and other business technologies, the program also provides additional support through expert advice to help your business reach its full potential. Get started here Canada Digital Adoption Program.

Upcoming Courses and Events

Book your spot!

Aug 8 YES Employment Entrepreneurship - Learn@Lunch: How Consumer Protection Law Affects Businesses

Aug 9 GlobalNL - Summer Event

Aug 10 MUN EmployU Expo

Aug 17 Chartered Professionals in Human Resource - CPHR Atlantic Presents: HR Safe Space

Aug 17 Academy for pros - Presentation Skills – Professional 1 Day Training in St. John's

Aug 21 Yes Employment Entrepreneurship - LinkedIn: Your Brand, Your Connections, Your Network

Aug 24 Chartered Professionals in Human Resource - CPHR Webinar: Crafting Investigative Interview Questions Free

Aug 24 Canada Post - Meet Gen Z IRL: Capturing the attention of a generation

Aug 25 Simplykart Inc - Agile Certification Training in St. John’s, NL

Sept 12 Jobs Canada St. John’s Job Fair

Sept 11-15 Gardiner Centre's Supervisory Management Skills Program: Functional Responsibilities of the Supervisor

Questions About Starting a Business

Our knowledgeable staff are here to help

Starting a new business is a busy and exciting time, and requires careful planning. Here at the City of St. John's Business Information Centre, we know our way around town and we'd be happy to connect you to the programs, resources and contacts you need to help make it happen. Get in touch. We're here to help.

We'd love to hear from you

Do you have a good St. John's business news story to tell? Do you have feedback on what you would like to see covered in our monthly publication? Send your ideas to [email protected]

Latest Economic Indicators

City building permits

as of August 7, 2023

Commercial permits

Down 22.0% from $69,337,795 in 2022 to $53,790,143 in 2023

Industrial permits

Valued at $351,000 for 2022 and $190,000 for 2023

Government/institutional permits

Up from $1,090,288  in 2022 to $5,329,060 in 2023*

Residential permits

Up 1.0% to $47,203,146 for 2023 over $46,750,657 for 2022

Repair permits

Down -9.0% from $945,669 in 2022 to $863,447 in 2023

Total value of all permits for 2023

Down -9.0% to $107,375,796 for 2023 over $118,475,410 for 2022

*This data does not include the full range of permit activity undertaken by the provincial government and Memorial University.

Business approvals

Bogarts, 6 Galway Boulevard

Hair salon, 36 Pearson Street

A Gentlemans Spa, 271 Blackmarsh Road

Corvus Tactical Aircraft, 84 Airport Road

Med Tropicals, 117 Ropewalk Lane

Punchbowl Snack Club, 626 Southside Road

Lounge, 126 Duckworth Street

Spirit Music Bar, 164 Water Street

Home-based businesses

Home Office, 304 Pennywell Road

Total business approvals for 2023 = 99 (regular = 73 and home-based = 26)

Labour force characteristics as of July 2023

Labour force – 124,200 (down -2.1%)

Unemployment rate – 5.9% (down -0.5 ppts)

Employment – 117,000 (down -1.4%)

Participation rate – 65.4% (down -3.3 ppts)

St. John's CMA, seasonally adjusted, three-month moving average. Percentage change reflects the same month previous year. Source: Statistics Canada.

Economic indicators

The New Housing Price Index for St. John’s Metro was 105.8 in June 2023 (up 0.6%*)

The Consumer Price Index for St. John’s Metro was 157.6 in June 2023 (up 2.2%*) 

Retail trade for Newfoundland and Labrador was $971 million in May 2023 (up 3.9%*)

*St. John's CMA, same month in the previous year. Source: Statistics Canada

Twitter  Facebook  Linkedin  Instagram

Subscribe to our social media channels to get the latest from Advantage St. John's.