Obstacles facing foreign workers: language and Canadian experience

While the government has made recognition of foreign credentials one of its priorities, newcomers must face "major obstacles" in order to find a job. This is the case even if their skills are officially recognized.

Do immigrants with specific skills have difficulty finding work? A study conducted by Environics Research for the government is looking for answers to this question. The study brings together newcomers in 12 discussion groups across the country.

Two major obstacles: language and Canadian experience

The requirements found in job postings which pose the most problems for foreign workers are language mastery and experience in Canada. In their eyes, cultural differences and the language barrier could mean a lack of connections and difficulties with social interactions. Faced with Canadian experience requirements, the newcomers feel that this is a "coded way for employers to favour the Canadian-born."

Varying recognition of skills

While they may believe that their skills are easily recognized, some immigrants face serious difficulties in terms of equivalence. In fact, Chinese participants in the discussion groups believe that "their training and experience in China are not of much use in Canada, since they feel that things in China are so different from Canada that they are not applicable”. Logically enough, it has also been noted that a "law degree from China in no way prepares a person to practise law in Canada".

The government plans to unveil initiatives this fall aimed at solving problems encountered by immigrant professionals.

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