Best Employers for New Canadians

These employers have been recognized as offering innovative programs to assist immigrants in making the transition to the Canadian workplace.

Each employer is evaluated in terms of whether:

  •  they offer programs specifically designed to assist employees who are recent immigrants to Canada;
  • they have taken steps to reduce employment barriers for recent immigrants, such as by recognizing foreign educational credentials and experience;
  • they assist new employees who have foreign professional or educational credentials in getting these qualifications formally recognized in Canada
  • they offer “onboarding” programs, such as internal coaching or mentoring, to help new employees who are recent immigrants understand the Canadian workplace
  • their managers and employees receive training in cross-cultural issues or inclusiveness to help create a welcoming and productive environment for employees who are recent immigrants
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Engineering and Technology Labour Market Study

This study is examining the current and future employment picture within the engineering and technology sectors of the Canadian economy. Five issues are the focal point of the study:

  • Employer labour requirements
  • The available workforce
  • Attitudes and practices related to certification and licensing
  • The role of diversity groups
  • Globalization

You can check out the affiliated website or an interim report.

Here are some points of interest from the interim report.

  • Individuals who obtained their engineering degrees outside Canada accounted for approximately20% of all employment in engineering occupations
  • In 2006, members of visible minorities accounted for 25.8% of engineering employment and 14.9% of technology employment
  • In BC The engineering age profile is older than average and this adds to supply pressures

Those of you who attended our workshop on “soft-skills” will be aware of the following points:

  • Asked to rank a range of non-technical skills, by far the majority of employers ranked most of these skills between ‘essential’ and ‘very important’.
  •  More than 50% of employers identified serious weakness in the
    non-technical skills of internationally educated professionals as the greatest obstacle to hiring them into engineering jobs

 

Roadmap to Recognition

There are a series of fact sheets on the Ministry of Economic Development’s website that I want to draw your attention to. These documents are designed for immigrants and provide helpful information related to credential recognition, language and skill upgrading and conducting an effective job search.

Foreign Credential Recognition Program

The federal government has announced $800,000 worth of new funding that will allow the Maytree Foundation to develop a set of on-line tools aimed at helping skilled immigrants integrate into the Canadian workforce.

Stepping stones

Many of our clients who have professional designations in engineering, information technology, construction, electronics and other fields will want to take note of a recent article from the Times-Colonist. A common tactic for newcomers to Canada to take is to seek employment in their field at a level with less responsibility. This allows individuals to establish themselves, build their networks, dust off old skills and learn new ones as they improve their English language proficiency (if necessary).

With engineers and other professionals this can often mean working as a Technoligist or Technician which usually avoids the requirement of having to register with a professional association such as APEGBC. This allows immigrants to generate an income while they work towards their goal of having their credentials fully recognized.

The newly-formed Technology Education & Careers Council projects that there will be a 70% shortfall in supervisors, managers and contractors in trades and technologies. The Times-Colonist article claims that many technicians are retiring and that schools have had to cut related programs due to declining enrollment.

These new opportunites will allow many of you to find meaningful, viable employment as you continue to work on your long-term goals.

Seminar for Internationally Trained Engineers

The Society for Internationally Trained Engineers is hosting a seminar on June 14th 2008. Note that this event is in Vancouver. See their website for details.

Regulated or not

Most occupations in Canada are not regulated. The employer can assess a foreign credential and decide on whether the applicant has the required skills and experience to do the job. There are specific occupations however, where people who wish to work in a field need to be registered with an association or organization that oversees the recognition of foreign-trained individuals. For example, is illegal to practise the profession of engineer or to use the title “engineer” without being licensed as a full member in a provincial or territorial association. Foreign-trained firefighters however are free to immediately seek work without worrying about regulatory restrictions.

See this comprehensive list for information on your occupation.