Employment minister releases report on newcomer integration

posted on April 13, 2015

By Canadian Immigrant | Link to Article

By Canadian Immigrant | Link to Article

Minister of Employment and Social Development Pierre Poilievre released a report today outlining new and better ways to integrate immigrants into the Canadian workforce. The minister shared highlights from the report, authored by the Panel on Employment Challenges of New Canadians, during his speech at the Conference Board of Canada’s Canadian Immigration Summit 2015, which kicked off in Ottawa today.

The panel, which was chaired by Nick Noorani, longtime immigrant champion and founder of Canadian Immigrant magazine, held in-person consultations on integrating new Canadians into the workforce in Vancouver, Calgary, Saskatoon, Toronto, Ottawa, Montréal and Halifax since 2014. The panel met with more than 150 organizations closely involved in the issue of employment for new Canadians, and welcomed public input through an online survey. The minister pledged to carefully study the panel’s recommendations, which include the need to:

  • require each regulated occupation to develop a single national standard and point of contact and insist that skilled immigrants take the initiative to have their qualifications assessed prior to arriving in Canada
  • develop a broader strategy for alternative careers, with a more prominent role for regulators, that will support newcomers as part of the licensing process
  • produce better, more coordinated labour market information targeted at newcomers
  • create a sense of shared responsibility among all stakeholders for helping immigrants find jobs that match their skills, with a focus on engaging employers.
  • “Every time we can help a newcomer to Canada plug their skills and experience into the Canadian workforce, everyone wins,” saidPoilievre. “It’s a source of pride and provision to the individual and their family, which in turn benefits local communities and strengthens our national economy. All levels of government need to adopt more common-sense approaches that help newcomers take on meaningful work more quickly.”

The minister also announced funding for two related projects that will see internationally trained doctors and engineers have their foreign credentials more quickly and effectively recognized by eliminating red tape and taking advantage of new online tools. The two projects, one led by the Medical Council of Canada and the other by Engineers Canada, will help address some of the challenges noted by the panel that newcomers face when trying to obtain employment. These challenges include problems getting foreign qualifications recognized, a lack of Canadian work experience, inadequate pre-arrival information and a mismatch of skills to region.

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