According to a World Education Services (WES) study, more than eighty (80) per cent of skilled worker immigrants got a job in Canada, and a good number are in permanent positions.
The survey says almost two-thirds of skilled worker immigrants find a job within three (3) months, rising to nearly seventy-four (74) per cent within six (6) months.
The report, acquired from a survey of more than 6,400 skilled immigrants completed in 2018, is a validation of Canada’s transitions from an immigration system based on specific labour market shortages to one focused on attracting highly-skilled, young and well-educated immigrants.
At the forefront of that transitions has been the Express Entry system, inaugurated in 2015 to prioritize applications from applicants with the skills and experience to succeed in Canada.
WES Reports for Skilled Worker Immigrants
The WES report reveals that young immigrants with prior experience of Canada were more likely to get jobs than older applicants with no prior experience.
Following on from this, the highest employment rates were seen in Canada Experience Class candidates.
“Those who immigrated under CEC were 2.4 times more likely to find work than those who entered through other economic immigration programs,” the report reveals.
Through the CEC, the highest proportion of skilled immigrants had prior experience in the food industry.
Meanwhile, some Seventy (70) per cent of Federal Skilled Worker were previously employed in the health sector.
The findings in the WES report were obtained from a 2018 survey of 6,402 permanent residents who applied for Education Credential Assessments (ECA) between 2013 and 2015.
An ECA is a document that evaluates foreign qualifications for their equivalent level in Canada.
The findings were similar to a 2017 report from Statistics Canada focusing on employment among university-educated Canadian citizens and permanent residents. It reported an employment rate of 82.1 per cent for immigrants and 91.4 per cent for the Canadian citizens.
This puts the employment gap between immigrants and their Canadian-born counterparts at the smallest since 2006.
While the growing immigrant employment rates is an important positive, the report also shows that many immigrants are unable to find jobs at their level of skill, experience and education.
Less than forty (40) per cent of immigrants have jobs similar in type and complexity to pre-immigration positions, the report says.
Respondents pointed to a lack of professional connections, employers not accepting experience and qualifications, and a lack of recognition of international education certificate as the main three reasons for the issue.
Such aspects are important considerations for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), as well as the provincial immigration agencies.
While more fundings are being injected into immigrant integration at both federal and provincial levels, it is obvious that shortcomings still remain.
The report identifies four top action areas:
1) Employer confidence in international experiences
The report suggests ‘competency-informed assessment’ to build a picture of the qualifications of immigrant job seekers to solve this issue.
2) Employment information
The report says: “There is an ongoing need to identify how to deliver realistically, targeted, specific, accurate, and timely employment information to would-be and recent immigrants.”
3) Access to regulated profession and trades
The report commends moves towards ‘profession-specific bridging program’, provided by provinces. It suggests more work to discover the specific help immigrants require to enter regulated occupations.
4) Services and Interventions
The report says: “All those working toward the integration of skilled worker immigrants need to collectively identify which specific employment services and service delivery approach that lead to the best results for skilled immigrant job seekers.”