Toronto Metropolitan University Professor Usha George highlighted that immigration-led population growth in Canada has been largely beneficial to the labor market and economy, but has also been tainted by an underutilization of newcomers’ full skill potential due to their lack of Canadian work experience.
The requirement in question refers to the preference that some employers hold for candidates who have worked for a Canada employer before.
Global News’ Uday Rana reported on Wednesday that many immigrants cite this factor as a hindrance to them securing a job that aligns with their foreign experience, making it a growing concern in the Canada job market.
This becomes especially true as Ottawa boosts efforts to target immigration levels to meet the needs of essential sectors such as healthcare and housing, as it disadvantages newcomers by emplacing barriers between them and their chances of securing a job without meeting the Canada work experience requirement.
Many immigrants work in minimum wage jobs to change this situation, despite having higher qualifications and work experience from their home country.
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Ontario Looks to Ban Requirements for Canadian Work Experience in Job Postings
There is a hopeful outlook for immigrants in the aforementioned regard, considering the recent move by the most populous Canadian province to ban requirements for Canada Work Experience in job postings.
This change was announced on Nov 9, 2023, with the provincial government proposing legislation that, if passed, would make Ontario the province in Canada to make this move.
According to Ontario’s website, more qualified candidates would be able to progress in the interview process through this change.
“For far too long, too many people arriving in Canada have been funnelled toward dead-end jobs they’re overqualified for,” said Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development David Piccini.
“We need to ensure these people can land well-paying and rewarding careers that help tackle the labor shortage.”
“When newcomers to Ontario get a meaningful chance to contribute, everyone wins.”
Ontario is Set to Nominate 16,500 Immigrants for Canada PR in 2023
Through the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP), the province is going to nominate 16,500 immigrants for PR in various critical sectors such as healthcare and the skilled trades.
To make sure that the best international candidates are selected, Ontario government is also revising the eligibility requirements for several one-year college graduate certificate programs; this would allow more international students to be eligible to apply for the OINP.
“Ontario is a global leader in welcoming newcomers from a wide array of backgrounds, cultures and faiths around the world,” said Michael Ford, Minister of Citizenship and Multiculturalism.
“By banning Canadian work experience requirements in job postings, Ontario, through Premier Ford and Minister Piccini’s leadership, is leading the country in breaking down barriers to make it easier for internationally-trained immigrants to find meaningful work and contribute to building Ontario. This change will help support families as they start their journey in their new homes, create more vibrant communities and help ensure businesses have the talent they need.”
The legislative changes in Ontario are part of a larger package that is going to expand on the actions introduced in the Working for Workers Acts, 2021, 2022, and 2023, which the provincial government will unveil to protect workers, help them earn higher salaries, and help them contribute to Ontario’s growth and prosperity.