This news release originally appeared on the Government of Saskatchewan website.
Strengthening Ties in the Areas of Critical Minerals, Immigration, Talent Attraction and More
Today, Immigration and Career Training and Trade and Export Development Minister Jeremy Harrison, is leading a delegation to the United Kingdom (UK) and Poland. The mission's focus is on expanding opportunities in agriculture, critical minerals, innovative technology, immigration and talent attraction.
"Saskatchewan is a world leader when it comes to agriculture, technology, energy and critical minerals," Harrison said. "With more than one in six jobs in the province tied directly to international exports, the province is committed to supporting a strong and growing economy by focusing on increasing trade and investment opportunities. Continuing to develop our economic interests while strengthening existing partnerships and relationships is creating growth that works for everyone at home."
The UK stop includes an event with the Critical Minerals Association, which will showcase Saskatchewan's capabilities in critical minerals, with a particular focus on Saskatchewan Research Council's (SRC) experience in rare earths processing.
"Saskatchewan Research Council is currently developing North America's first fully integrated Rare Earth Element Processing Facility that will support Saskatchewan's bid to become a leading-edge rare earth element hub," SRC President and CEO Mike Crabtree said. "As the world looks to secure access to critical minerals essential for telecommunications, computing and clean energy, Saskatchewan is well-positioned to meet these demands. This mission is critical to finding the necessary global collaborators to move this key strategic priority forward."
A number of Saskatchewan businesses are also attending the World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit and join Cultivator and Innovate UK at an investor start-ups session.
Minister Harrison will then travel to Poland to participate in trade and investment meetings and support an employer-led international recruitment initiative.
A delegation of Saskatchewan employers and the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP) will attend a recruitment fair to attract skilled workers for in-demand positions in the province. This will allow the province to provide coordinated settlement services, such as foreign qualification recognition pathways. It will also enhance settlement and retention outcomes by providing personalized, proactive supports to prospective newcomers.
"With food security becoming increasingly important, we need to keep Saskatchewan farmers in the field," Young's Equipment Service Executive Brent Bazin said. "Young's Equipment is very involved with Saskatchewan's apprenticeship programs but recognizes the ability to fill all the available jobs from within our training system falls short of current needs. We've also used the SINP program for over 20 years as one of many tools for recruitment. We are proud to say that we have several long-term employees that are now Canadian citizens, permanently settled and raising families in Saskatchewan. Our hope is to find others in Poland that will yield the same results."
"We thank the provincial government for taking the initiative to lead this recruitment effort," City of Regina Mayor Sandra Masters said. "Attracting skilled labour is crucial for the continued growth of Regina. This mission will further enhance our workforce and help ensure that we have the talent necessary to act on the economic opportunities in front of us."
Through the network of nine international offices and several missions abroad, Saskatchewan is strengthening relationships around the world. Saskatchewan's merchandise exports to the EU and UK increased by 50 per cent from $1.8 billion in 2021 to $2.7 billion in 2022. Last year, the top three export products to the EU were potash ($760.4 million), wheat ($587.5 million), and uranium ($409.2 million).
The delegation will leave Saskatchewan on September 23 and return on September 30.