News release

Province Attracts Internationally Trained Healthcare and Construction Professionals, Provides More Funding for Settlement Support

Labour, Skills and Immigration
skilled trades
health workforce
Construction worker on Nova Scotia job site

Construction worker Darwin Cacafranca on a Nova Scotia job site; in 2023, 244 construction professionals and 763 healthcare professionals were approved through immigration programs. (Communications Nova Scotia)

Nova Scotia is attracting newcomers in sectors with the most need, including healthcare and the skilled trades, and investing to help them settle and stay.

In 2023, 763 healthcare professionals and 244 construction professionals were among the 6,830 applicants approved through immigration programs for the year. This represents an 88.9 per cent increase in healthcare professionals and an 85.8 per cent increase in construction professionals compared with 2022.

Healthcare professionals supported through provincial immigration programs include 38 internationally trained doctors, up from 28 in 2022. Other healthcare positions that have been filled include continuing care assistant, laboratory specialist, licensed practical nurse, pharmacy technician and medical radiation technician.

“We’re very pleased to have attracted so many skilled professionals to Nova Scotia last year in fields where we need them most,” said Jill Balser, Minister of Labour, Skills and Immigration. “I am thankful they chose Nova Scotia as their new home and that Nova Scotians across the province continue to welcome and help them settle into their new lives and communities.”

Immigrants and their families who come to Nova Scotia have access to community-level settlement supports, including language services, training and employment supports and connections to community groups and services. As a result, Nova Scotia’s six-year rolling retention rate is the highest in Atlantic Canada at 70 per cent.

To continue to retain skilled workers and other newcomers, the Province is investing an additional $3 million in settlement supports in communities throughout the province. The funding will mean enhanced English language training, dedicated settlement supports for healthcare workers, support for growing the francophone population and community initiatives that support settlement and retention through activities tailored to regions.

In 2023, there were 11,800 new permanent residents in Nova Scotia, compared with 12,650 in 2022.

The Department of Labour, Skills and Immigration participated in 35 recruitment events in 2023 and supported employers to find people with the skills required for their jobs.


“The need for talented healthcare providers – nurses, continuing care assistants and more – has never been greater. International recruitment and immigration is one of the ways we can meet our community’s need for care and services with talented, compassionate, and diverse teams that create more inclusive workplaces.”
— Vanessa White, Vice-President of People and Culture, Shannex

“I’ve been working at Dexter for two years. I heard a lot of good things about Nova Scotia, and when I got here, it was pretty amazing. The people here are very friendly, approachable, ready to help if you need a hand. For me it feels like a second home – I really love it. Working at Dexter gives me the opportunity to make a big impact. Maybe some day I can tell my daughter, ‘That road right there, I built that.’ It’s something I can be proud of.”
— Darwin Cacafranca, construction worker, Dexter Construction

Quick Facts:

  • Nova Scotia’s population reached 1,066,416 as of October 1, 2023, according to Statistics Canada
  • Nova Scotia continues to see growth in inter-provincial migration with nearly 6,300 net new people coming to Nova Scotia from other provinces and territories between October 1, 2022, and September 30, 2023
  • in 2023, the top five countries of origin for immigrants to Nova Scotia were India, Philippines, China, Nigeria and South Korea
  • in 2022, 128 construction professionals and 404 healthcare professionals were approved through immigration programs

Additional Resources:

Settlement service provider organizations in Nova Scotia:

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