Teaching the teachers

chalk.jpgTeaching in BC is one of those regulated professions that requires membership in a governing body. In this case the BC College of Teachers is responsible for reviewing applications from foreign-trained teachers.

This article examines the issues and describes a Simon Fraser University professional qualification program which helps immigrant teachers to make the transition to BC classrooms. 

Is a foreign credential a barrier to employment ?

Sadly for some employers it appears to be. An article in the Montreal Gazette touches on this issue.

The foreign credential issue, to be sure, is one part of the problem. Employers have trouble assigning value to a degree obtained from a foreign academic program with which they are not familiar.

Forty-four per cent of companies in a Conference Board of Canada survey said this was a potential barrier in their hiring practices.

Employers have a difficulty in assigning value to a foreign credential because often they may not have the time or ability to do the required research. Immigrants may miss out on opportunities simply because the employer does not understand that in many cases a foreign diploma is equivalent to a Canadian one.
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To help our clients with this issue Career Solutions use a service that specializes in the evaluation of a foreign credentials. If required, we have diplomas and transcripts translated and then send them to the International Credential Evaluation Service to be evaluated.

A foreign credential is not a barrier to employment but it can be seen as one. Having credentials evaluated is an important step in finding suitable employment.

Personal Stories

As we’ve examined earlier in this blog, foreign-trained engineers have an involved and lengthy process to go through in Canada in order to receive their professional designation. The Potential to Prosperity website provides 17 video profiles of engineers who went through the process. There are videos for Civil, Electrical, Environmental and other engineers from many different countries. Watching these stories can help foreign-trained immigrants to better understand and prepare for the process of getting their credentials recognized.

Camosun College Trades & Technology Recruitment Expo

Some of our clients will be interested in attending the Camosun College Trades & Technology Recruitment Expo on Tuesday April 3rd. Some of the employers exhibiting include 3D Geomatics Inc, Flynn Canada Ltd., Department of National Defence and the Victoria Shipyards Co. Ltd. Check out the events page on the Camosun website for more information on this event.

The “stickyness” of email addresses

email.gifRemember when we had to choose our email address many years ago ? Few people might have been aware that our email address would “stick” to us like glue as we moved through our careers.

An address that might have made sense to us as a teenager or young adult may now send the wrong message to employers as we carry out our job search. Addresses that are overly descriptive, informal or just plain odd may confuse an employer or send the wrong message. An article in today’s Times-Colonist gives a few examples of addresses that could be viewed as being unprofessional.

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Top 10 interview mistakes

People make all kinds of mistakes during job interviews. Some of them are minor but others are too big for employers to overlook. An article from Reuters looks at some of the worst mistakes that have been reported. A couple of examples are excerpted below. Check out the link for the full list.

  • Candidate answered cell phone and asked the interviewer to leave her own office because it was a “private” conversation.
  • Candidate asked the interviewer for a ride home after the interview.

Some of these types of mistakes can be attributed to poor people skills or not having an understanding of what appropriate interview behaviour is. In many cases though I think these kind of slip-ups can be the result of being nervous. Being overly anxious or nervous can result in someone saying or doing something they wouldn’t normally do.

Properly preparing for an interview can help to alleviate nerves and minimize the risk of making mistakes.

In the driver’s seat

truck.jpgThe transportation sector is one of many that is facing a shortage of skilled workers. The workforce is aging and fewer young people are interested in this career which means that many of the projected job openings will go unfilled. 

 Employers in this sector are looking abroad in the hopes that immigration can provide a supply of skilled drivers. Recruiting and training new drivers is just half the battle however. This article looks at struggle that companies face in retaining their skilled immigrant drivers once they are hired.

Emotions and culture

This report from Science Daily shows how culture can be determining factor when interpreting facial emotions. According to the cited research:

East Asians seem to have a more holistic pattern of attention, perceiving people in terms of the relationships to others,” says Masuda. “People raised in the North American tradition often find it easy to isolate a person from its surroundings

Top 20 employers for new Canadians

Some companies and organizations are ahead of the game when realizing that hiring skilled immigrants is one solution to the labour shortage in Canada. Those companies that open their doors now will have a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

“Instead of viewing immigrant jobseekers as a risk, these employers have come up with ways of hiring, training and integrating internationally trained workers into the Canadian workforce,” said Rachel Caballero, lead editor of the Top 20. “International credentials and experience are not considered liabilities or barriers to employment at any of these firms.”

Our clients who have a background in the financial services sector will want to take note of the presence of several national banks on this list. Also, one Victoria employer, Island Hearing Services is also on the list.

The top employers for new Canadians

• Associated Engineering Group, Edmonton

• Business Development Bank of Canada, Montreal

• CAE, Saint-Laurent, Que.

• Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Toronto

• Christie Digital Systems Canada, Kitchener, Ont.

• Enbridge, Calgary

• Ernst & Young, Toronto

• Island Hearing Services, Victoria

• KPMG, Toronto

• Keane Canada, Halifax

• MDS Nordion, Ottawa

• Manulife Financial, Toronto

• Providence Health Care, Vancouver

• Replicon, Calgary

• St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto

• TD Bank Financial Group, Toronto

• Toronto Transit Commission, Toronto

• University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon

• Wardrop Engineering, Winnipeg

• i3DVR International, Toronto

Immigrants arrive better educated

data.jpgCanada held a census in 2006 and StatsCanada has been releasing the data bit by bit for the last year. Reading census data is an important part of understanding what is happening in the Canadian economy and labour market.

The latest release deals with employment and demographic information. You can read some of the highlights here. Today’s Times-Colonist ran a related article that describes how 51% of the 349,800 people who immigrated to this country between 2001 and 2006 held a university degree. Just 20% of the Canadian-born population hold similar education status.

As the Canadian economy continues its move towards knowledge-based employment, holding a post-secondary degree becomes more important and will provide an advantage when looking for work.