Survival to Success: Transforming Immigrant Outcomes

Official title: Survival to Success: Transforming Immigrant Outcomes - Report from the Panel on Employment Challenges of New Canadians


The opinions and interpretations in this report are those of the Panel and do not necessarily reflect those of the Government of Canada.


Educational Credential Assessment
foreign credential recognition
Forum of Labour Market Ministers
labour market information
immigrant serving organizations
small and medium-sized enterprises

Letter from the Chair

Almost every business, small or large, has had great results from hiring immigrants. As an immigrant who came to Canada several years ago, I can see how my work experience abroad allowed me to contribute different perspectives and experiences.

Canada’s demographic needs, much like those at the outset of the 20th century, mean immigrants will once again drive our economic prosperity. Since 2012, all labour force growth has come from immigration. Industry projections point to significant demand for skilled workers in a number of sectors over the next decade. Finding the right people for these jobs will be critical to our economic stability and global competitiveness.

Yet immigrant outcomes have been falling in the past decade, with many skilled newcomers stuck in survival jobs. Underemployment reduces their ability to contribute both economically and socially. Until recently, a major cause has been a point system that valued education and work experience but minimized the importance of language skills. Fortunately, this was rectified in 2013 with the new point system.

Today, the most prominent barriers are a lack of Canadian work experience and recognition of foreign credentials. But there are others: inadequate pre-arrival information, employer bias, a mismatch of skills to region and cultural competency. While these factors can be mitigated by more collaboration among stakeholders—and there are promising practices leading the way—this doesn’t happen often enough.

Encouragingly, in our consultations with immigrant-serving organizations, regulators, educational institutions and employers, we learned of promising practices for facilitating labour market integration. Significant progress has been made in many areas, including in foreign credential recognition and settlement.

Chairing this panel has been an honour, and I would like to thank my panelists for their support and their dedication to helping immigrants succeed in Canada. This report also reflects the input of individuals from numerous organizations who gave generously of their time. We thank them and the hundreds of Canadians who responded to the online survey. By sharing their perspectives, they have contributed to the recommendations in this report and, we hope, to better outcomes for immigrants.

We would like to recognize the Honourable Jason Kenney for establishing this panel in his former role as Minister of Employment and Social Development. We would also like to acknowledge the indispensable support we received from Employment and Social Development Canada, as well as from Citizenship and Immigration Canada and Health Canada.

Labour market integration occurs at the convergence of the right skills, attitudes, information and location. We hope that the insights and recommendations presented in our report Survival to Success: Transforming Immigrant Outcomes will help immigrants achieve their full potential for their own benefit and for the sake of our country.

Nick (Naeem) Noorani, Chair, Panel on Employment Challenges of New Canadians

Scope of this report

In the fall of 2014, then Minister of Employment and Social Development Canada, the Honourable Jason Kenney, appointed the Panel on Employment Challenges of New Canadians to consult with immigrant-serving organizations, regulators, employers and other stakeholders.

The Panel was asked to identify and report on successes, innovative approaches and promising practices on the licensing, hiring and retention of recent immigrants, as well as the challenges of this process faced by employers. This work will help to shape strategies for better integrating newcomers into the workforce.

In-person consultations were held in Vancouver, Calgary, Saskatoon, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Halifax. During these events, the Panel met with over 150 organizations closely involved in the issue of employment for new Canadians. The Panel also posted an online survey open to all Canadians and received input from over 600 respondents—including many immigrants themselves.

In total, over 750 stakeholders shared their experiences and opinions on the subject of integrating new Canadians into the labour market.

While the focus of the Panel’s examination was the consultations and online responses, a review of the following elements was also conducted to better understand the employment challenges of new Canadians:

  • government programs to help immigrants secure employment and reach their full potential, most notably the foreign credential recognition process and the role of regulators;
  • pre-decision and pre-arrival activities, services and supports to help prospective immigrants considering Canada;
  • the availability of post-arrival supports, such as networking opportunities, cultural training, financial assistance and help with licensing procedures and alternative career identification; and
  • promising practices of employers and immigrant-serving organizations in areas such as hiring and retaining newcomers, transforming workplace culture to be more inclusive and assisting in obtaining workplace experience.

Executive summary

The Panel on Employment Challenges of new Canadians learned that there is nothing irrevocably wrong with our system of integrating skilled immigrants. It simply doesn’t work well enough, seamlessly enough, or quickly enough. Our challenge is to transition those immigrants who are in Canada from survival jobs to jobs where they can best use their skills and experience and to ensure future immigrants get jobs commensurate with their skills and experience.

To help immigrants find work faster in jobs commensurate with their abilities and experience, we need:

  • The right skills for newcomers: At the pre-arrival stage, the assessment and recognition of foreign credentials, although improved, is still a complex and disjointed process. When immigrants arrive, there is insufficient emphasis on follow-up for alternative careers and enhanced soft-skills training.
  • The right attitude for stakeholders: Low levels of engagement among small and medium-sized employers and a silo mentality among supporting organizations undermine labour market integration and prevent newcomers from developing social capital and networks.
  • The right information for newcomers: Pre-decision and pre-arrival labour market information is complex, redundant and not comprehensive enough to allow immigrants to make informed decisions about vocation and location—or to match supply with demand.
  • The right place to settle: Immigrants often land in a community where there are no jobs in their field of work, or where remoteness and unfamiliarity make settlement difficult.

The Panel recommends six steps to streamline the labour market integration process:

  1. Require each regulated occupation to develop a single pan-Canadian standard, and insist that the assessment process be initiated from abroad by prospective immigrants and tracked in the immigration system. This single pan-Canadian standard should be complemented by a single point of contact and Web portal for each occupation. In addition, clear benchmarks, key performance indicators and timelines should be set to monitor progress against these goals globally and by occupation.

  2. Develop a broader strategy for alternative careers with a more prominent role for regulators. Require regulators to advise newcomers who are unsuccessful in the licensing process in finding an alternative career, or refer them to an appropriate organization for this service.

  3. Foster leadership, support and a shared responsibility among all stakeholders for helping immigrants find jobs. Large and small employers, immigrant-serving organizations and governments must work more closely together to maximize the effectiveness of the tools and services that help immigrants gain meaningful employment. This also helps employers access a richer and more diverse pool of talent.

  4. Establish a “Multi-Stakeholder Advisory Group for Better Immigrant Employment Outcomes.” This group of employers, regulators and immigrant-serving organizations would monitor and report to governments on progress in implementing the Panel’s recommendations, advise governments on broader issues involving the labour market integration of immigrants and champion the shared commitment of hiring newcomers.

  5. Produce more comprehensive labour market information targeted at newcomers. Federal, provincial and territorial governments should provide immigrants with timely, accurate and geographically-based information to set realistic expectations about job prospects and licensing practices in Canada.

  6. Educate communities on how to increase retention outside large metropolitan areas. Recognizing that retaining immigrants requires a holistic approach, efforts must reflect collaboration among employers, governments and immigrant-serving organizations.

The recommendations we provide for further streamlining foreign credential recognition, increasing alternative career support, building employer engagement, improving labour market information, breaking down silos and increasing retention are not wishful thinking—they are well within our reach. In fact, they are a natural and logical continuation of all the efforts and accomplishments that have been achieved to date.

We submit that the subtle changes we recommend will enhance the newcomer experience markedly and bring economic efficiency and measurable success to the entire process. By focusing more purposefully on labour market needs, closing the gaps in the system and measuring results, we can help newcomers find the right jobs for their skills and experience and strengthen the Canadian economy.

Canada’s need for skilled immigrants

Canada is a country of immigrants: In 2011, immigrants represented 20.6 percent of Canada’s population, the highest proportion among G7 countries.Footnote 1 Nine out of ten immigrants settled in Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia and Alberta. Of this group, most gravitated to large urban centres, with 33 percent in Toronto, 16 percent in Montreal, 13 percent in Vancouver and 6 percent in Calgary.

Immigrants have been an important part of Canada’s labour supply over the past few decades, and this trend is expected to continue. The proportion of Canada’s working aged population accounted for by immigrants has been slowly increasing for the past 15 years.Footnote 2 Many of these new Canadians are skilled: they hold a disproportionate number of graduate degrees, accounting for nearly half (49 percent ) of all PhDs and 40 percent of master’s recipients.Footnote 3 With the fastest growth in demand expected for jobs that require university education, the need for their contributions will intensify.

Despite their qualifications, skilled immigrants are chronically underemployed, at significant cost to our economy. A 2012 study concluded that raising the employment rate of immigrant workers to the level of non-immigrants would result in approximately 370,000 more people working.Footnote 4 Another study, conducted in 2011, estimated the increased earnings if newcomers’ skills were compensated appropriately at $31 billion.Footnote 5

These statistics demonstrate the critical role immigrants already play in our workforce and their potential to strengthen Canada’s economy. As domestic labour force growth continues to slow, there will be an even greater focus on immigration as a source of the skilled labour needed to enhance our productivity.

What we heard in our consultations

During our in-person discussions with stakeholder organizations and in the hundreds of cross-Canada responses to an online survey on the employment challenges faced by new Canadians,Footnote 6 we heard from a wide range of stakeholders involved in the path to employment for new Canadians. We learned that countless groups and organizations each play an important role in this journey. However, despite their good intentions, disconnected stakeholders can make the path long and arduous.

What are the most significant obstacles? In our consultations, individual respondents and immigrant serving organizations (ISOs) both mentioned foreign credential recognition (FCR) difficulties and inadequate/difficulty obtaining Canadian experience most frequently as an obstacle to obtaining relevant employment in Canada. Other frequently mentioned difficulties were perceived employer bias, inadequate labour market information and cultural adaptation challenges.

To frame the discussion, we have grouped the issues identified in our consultations into four categories: the right skills for newcomers, the right attitude for stakeholders, the right information for newcomers and the right place to settle. In each section, we review what we heard and the focus areas for developing solutions. Later in the report, we provide our specific recommendations.

The right skills for newcomers

Immigrants entering the country who want to work in a skilled occupation must have their foreign education and experience recognized. If they want to work in a regulated occupation, they must also obtain a licence to practice, delivered by provincial or territorial regulatory authorities.Footnote 7 The licensing environment is a complex one, varying by province and territory in terms of occupational standards, policies and bylaws. In non-regulated occupations, assessment and recognition of qualifications is at the discretion of employers. To understand what credentials they need, immigrants must navigate challenging territory.

Encouragingly, stakeholders noted recent improvements to the process for assessment and recognition of foreign credentials in regulated occupations. A key contributor has been the Pan-Canadian Framework for the Assessment and Recognition of Foreign Qualifications, which commits federal, provincial and territorial governments to working collaboratively. The Framework has changed the mindset of stakeholders and has supported regulators in streamlining their assessment and recognition processes. The Framework has created partnerships across the country and allowed many regulators to begin assessing candidates prior to their arrival in Canada.

In January 2015, the Government of Canada also launched a new electronic system called Express Entry to manage applications for permanent residence under certain economic immigration programs. The Express Entry system is a key step in more effectively selecting the immigrants with the right skills to meet the country’s labour market needs. If this system is to be successful for regulated occupations, stakeholders noted that it should be better linked to the assessment and recognition of credentials in Canada.

Simplify FCR

While progress has been made to better recognize the skills immigrants have acquired abroad, stakeholders across the country echoed that more could be done. Lengthy, expensive and often complex credentialing systems can discourage people from applying in the first place, and, if they do, unsuccessful candidates are frequently left with limited support or options.

To overcome these challenges, there was a strong consensus in consultations across the country that further efforts should be made to simplify the FCR process for immigrants by adopting a single pan-Canadian standard, a single point of contact and a single online portal for each regulated occupation.

Note: Right skills promising practice - single access point for foreign credential assessments

The medical laboratory science profession is one of a limited number of health professions with a single pan-Canadian access point for professional certification. This single point increases the accessibility to credential assessment for international graduates and gives them a considerable advantage in initiating the credential recognition process prior to arrival.

Begin and track licensing results before arrival

To benefit from the talents of immigrants as soon as possible, stakeholders believe that the assessment and recognition of foreign credentials should begin before an immigrant arrives in the country. A number of regulated occupations (e.g. physicians, nurses, architects) have launched or are in the process of developing pan-Canadian, pre-arrival registration systems and assessment processes. More occupations should develop licensing steps overseas, and immigrants should be required to go through these steps before arriving in the country.

Stakeholders also indicated that licensing and immigration processes should be better connected. The Educational Credential Assessment (ECA), introduced by the Government of Canada in May 2013, helps in this regard by evaluating whether a foreign educational credential is authentic and equivalent to a completed Canadian one. While the ECA can help prospective immigrants understand the likelihood of becoming licensed in a specific profession, stakeholders noted that more regulatory bodies should participate in the ECA. This will minimize confusion among immigrants who undertake credential assessment twice—once for immigration and once for licensing purposes.

Note: Right skills promising practice - moving towards harmonized approaches across the country for foreign credential recognition

Through the use of a single national online portal, the nursing profession offers an easy and direct way for internationally educated nurses to submit documents. Documents submitted through this portal are reviewed and evaluated before they are sent to the appropriate regulatory body for Canadian nursing registration. This model allows candidates to begin the registration process before arriving in Canada and ensures a consistent, competency-based assessment of candidates across Canadian jurisdictions. Work on this service has also encouraged a high level of collaboration among nursing regulators across the country.

Modernize the role of regulators to further support immigrants

In our consultations, there was widespread recognition that regulators exist to protect the public and protect the integrity of professions. Canada upholds some of the highest regulatory standards in the world, and these should not be jeopardized. However, stakeholders agreed that they must recognize their common goal and responsibility for supporting the successful integration of newcomers and filling employment gaps.

Some participants thought there could be tremendous value in asking regulators to play a larger role by assisting unsuccessful candidates to find a related and rewarding career. It was suggested that when candidates fail to qualify, regulators could provide them with individual counselling to determine a related career that best fits their skills and experience, or a referral to an appropriate organization for this service. Many participants noted that accurate information and services on alternative career paths would help close a significant gap that leaves so many highly skilled immigrants underemployed. Regulators are not currently mandated to provide this service but we did hear of some regulators who are willing to work with candidates beyond their mandate to support an alternative career path.

Participants noted that while many programs and services exist to identify career paths, they are delivered by various stakeholders with little interaction. As a result, information is disjointed and inconsistent for both the stakeholders and immigrants. Having regulatory bodies responsible for providing alternative career guidance or directing people to referral services would help to reinforce the shared goal of integration.

Examples of such services include an online information centre managed by a metropolitan public library system, such as B.C.’s Skilled Immigrant InfoCentre, and the online alternative career tool provided by a provincial ministry of health for its employees, the HealthForceOntario Alternative Career Toolkit.

Further support immigrants through the FCR process

Bridging programs are a great way to help qualified immigrants move more quickly into their professions without duplicating what they have already learned. Bridging can include clinical or workplace experience, skills training, academic upgrading, examination preparation, language training and other individual supports. Across Canada, stakeholders acknowledged that when multi-faceted bridging programs are recognized by regulators or assessment bodies, they help immigrants obtain the required knowledge and competencies they lack to obtain credential recognition.

Note: Right skills promising practice - bridge training for newcomers

Successful bridging programs assess the needs of newcomers on an individual basis. The Government of Ontario’s Bridge Training, with support from the Government of Canada, funds employers, colleges and universities, occupational regulatory bodies and community organizations to deliver bridge training programs to internationally trained individuals with a post-secondary degree and international work experience.

While many excellent bridge training programs are available, they can be costly to sustain (e.g. program delivery and maintenance of subject matter expertise). However, cost must also be understood in light of the high return on investment of these programs, which get skilled immigrants into the workforce faster and at an appropriate level. These programs deserve support as they can be vital to the successful integration of skilled immigrants.

Participants in our consultations indicated that the cost of licensing exams and skills upgrading can present a significant barrier for many skilled immigrants. This can be particularly problematic as many recent immigrants do not have sufficient credit history to borrow from Canadian financial institutions. In 2011, the Government of Canada announced the FCR Loans Pilot project to test models for helping immigrants overcome financial barriers. In partnership with nine community-based organizations, this project has made it easier for skilled immigrants to complete the credential recognition process and find jobs that best suit their skills and experience.

Provide more skills training

Employers, regulators and ISOs identified that immigrants need greater access to skills training. The Canada Job Fund agreements are a key mechanism helping to support skills training, with investments of $500 million annually to provinces and territories over six years (2014–2020), to help equip individuals with the skills and training they need to fill available jobs. Eligible beneficiaries include all Canadian citizens, permanent residents, and people who have been granted refugee status in Canada and are legally entitled to work in Canada. These agreements include the Canada Job Grant, designed to directly increase employer involvement in training, and are particularly relevant for both immigrants and employers. Employers can apply to their provincial or territorial government for grants of up to $10,000 in government contributions towards the direct costs of training, such as tuition and materials. Employers are required to contribute, on average, one-third of these costs. While provinces and territories are responsible for the design and delivery of the Canada Job Grant within their respective jurisdictions, they are required to implement the grant in accordance with the following core parameters: i) employers decide who receives training and what type of training is required; ii) employers have a job available for the trainee at the end of training; iii) employers contribute financially to the training; and iv) training is provided by an eligible third-party trainer.

Employers can use the grant to train individuals who are unemployed, underemployed or employed, but who need training to get a new or better job. The grant is flexible enough to meet the needs of businesses of all sizes, in all industries and all regions. For example, eligible employers can include employer organizations, such as industry associations or ISOs. These organizations can work with individual employers to help determine their training needs and apply for a grant on their behalf, thereby supporting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with limited capacity to undertake grant applications themselves. There are also flexible arrangements for small businesses with limited training funding, such as the potential to count wages as part of their employer contribution. Clear communications on the Canada Job Grant and how to apply will help employers to maximize the grant.

Funding is also available under the Canada Job Fund agreements to support provinces and territories in providing a range of other employer-sponsored training initiatives, such as wage subsidies and apprenticeship supports, along with a broad range of employment supports and services (e.g, literacy and essential skills), focused on individuals who are furthest from the labour market with multiple barriers to employment.

Note: Right skills promising practice - occupation-specific language training

Occupation-specific language training and employer-led language training are particularly relevant to newcomers seeking to integrate into the Canadian workforce. These widely available programs typically offer language training geared to a particular occupation, practical exercises based on workplace communication tasks, career planning assistance and opportunities to connect with local employers, industries and resources.

Participants at the consultations, particularly employers, spoke of the importance of developing adequate soft skills for all employees, including immigrants. These include communication, interpersonal, problem-solving and critical-thinking skills. Other stakeholders noted that in order to help immigrants and employers connect, employers need to establish better connections with the immigrant workforce, such as through partnerships with human resource departments and ISOs. Admittedly, providing such programs may be easier for large businesses to organize and afford, but these programs are considered promising practices that offer a solid return on investment for the company and the individuals.

Note: Right skills promising practice: - mentoring and partnerships

Successful mentoring programs have made use of employer partners to promote mentoring opportunities internally to staff and to identify suitable, qualified volunteer mentors. Often, service delivery partners match mentors with skilled immigrants and support the mentoring relationship over time. For example the Mentoring Partnership—offered by the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council and many other immigrant employment councils and ISOs across the country—brings together skilled recent immigrants and established professionals in occupation-specific mentoring relationships to provide newcomers with important network and learning opportunities.

Another approach praised by consultation participants for building work-relevant soft skills is that of mentorship. Mentorships foster a relationship between both parties and are particularly successful when not confined to the workplace but are available more broadly over the course of the career of an immigrant. According to stakeholders with first-hand experience, mentorships result in tremendous benefits for both mentors and mentees. They help immigrants better understand the Canadian workplace culture and build social networks. For the employer, mentorships strengthen leadership skills and improve intercultural awareness. Many participants expressed their support in making more mentorship programs available to immigrants seeking to enter the labour market in both regulated and unregulated occupations.

Note: Right skills promising practice - employment readiness

Services that address the soft skills of newcomers play an important role in employment readiness. Successful programs target the individual and provide training in areas such as interview skills, résumé writing, job search and Canadian workplace culture. These programs are often offered free of charge and are particularly successful when service providers adopt a multi-stakeholder approach, including partnerships between ISOs, training institutions and employers.

Introduce entrepreneurship as a viable career option

When it comes to choosing a career in Canada, entrepreneurship should be presented as a bona fide alternative career choice. LMI indicates that small start-up companies in Canada create more than 60 percent of new jobs every year, and that immigrants establish some of the more vibrant and innovative businesses. Participants spoke of promising practices in the area of loan programs for immigrant entrepreneurs and suggested the need for wider availability across Canada as well as additional resources—such as information on the regulatory environment and connections to business networks.

Note: Right skills promising practice - support for entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurship can provide newcomers with direct entry into the labour market and does not rely on formal credential recognition processes. Entrepreneurship can accelerate the settlement and economic integration process of immigrants. Some successful labour market integration programs provide business and settlement services for immigrants interested in pursuing business ownership or entrepreneurial opportunities. The Business Immigrant Integration Support Program is a British Columbia-based example. Among other activities, the program offers free one-on-one business counselling, business workshops, short courses and case management activities.

The right attitude for stakeholders

During our in-person consultations, it was clear that each group of stakeholders felt more needed to be done to support the integration of newcomers. They indicated that their specific mandates or limited knowledge of what others were doing created a “not my problem” attitude. This thinking must be overcome if we are to attract and retain skilled immigrants and help them build social capital and networks.

Note: Right attitude promising practice - support for employers to hire newcomers

Programs that provide employers with incentives to hire newcomers are helping newcomers acquire Canadian work experience. Successful programs provide employers with a subsidy to cover costs associated with hiring newcomers. For example, Employment Integration Program for Immigrants and Visible Minorities, a provincial program, provides subsidies to cover certain additional expenses, such as the salary of a support person, training costs or the cost of integration measures.

Insufficient understanding of the return on investment immigrants can bring to an organization may explain why this issue persists with employers. The Panel also noted that employer participation in the in-person and online consultations was limited. Preoccupied mainly with the needs of their business, organizations may not always see their role as “employers” first. Many participants suggested that the root of disengagement is employers’ risk averse-nature, which causes them to shy away from hiring immigrants unless they have significant human resources capacity and a philosophy geared towards the development of their workforce. Not surprisingly, many of the models of successful hiring and integration of skilled immigrants have been developed by larger employers, rather than SMEs. On the bright side, the Panel also heard from some employers who do see the connection between immigrant talents and business success.

In Canada, SMEs represent more than 64 percent of the private sector workforce. While significant in terms of labour force, these companies tend to have smaller human resources functions than larger businesses and are less likely to have proactive programs for hiring and integrating new Canadians. They may also have difficulties assessing foreign work experience. Most SMEs seek to attract immediately employable people who are well versed in the Canadian labour market and in their field of expertise.

Note: Right attitude promising practice - setting an example

Companies that create an inclusive and welcoming workplace attract and benefit from immigrant talent. Below are some tips from employers for hiring and retaining more new Canadians:

  • Follow fair recruitment practices and consider international job experience when creating job offers.
  • Commit to making workplaces diverse and respectful.
  • Understand that different backgrounds, abilities and perspectives bring innovation and dynamism.
  • Support communities by partnering with ISOs, and give employees a chance to get involved.

Employers should make sure that the diversity in Canadian society is reflected in their work environments.
Individual respondent

Help employers recognize the value of hiring immigrants

There are many tools and supports for employers to help them recruit and integrate skilled immigrants and deal with cultural differences in the workplace. However, there is also low awareness of what these supports are and where to find them. To encourage a cultural and behavioural change, Canadian employers—especially SMEs—need to know where to go to find information on the benefits of tapping into the immigrant pool and the associated return on investment.

Note: Right attitude promising practice - changing the mindset of employers through internships

Organizations that support internships, such as Career Edge, connect internationally qualified professionals seeking meaningful work experience with employers, usually through 4- to 12-month paid internships. This allows immigrants access to the Canadian experience, which many of the respondents to the online survey described as critical to their labour market integration.

Chambers of Commerce and regional development centres are best positioned to help smaller employers network with large organizations and share promising practices, while ISOs can serve as the link to the pool of immigrant talent. Large employers can also champion this work as they have the human resource capacity to act as an example and adopt diverse supply chains.

The challenges have been a lack of Canadian experience, rejection before interview and difficulty understanding the job hiring process.”
– Individual respondent

For employers, internships provide an efficient means of assessing a prospective employee’s ability and capacity to perform the job. For immigrants, they can provide the much-needed Canadian work experience that is often requested by employers and regulators. Internships give immigrants the opportunity to use their foreign work experience in the Canadian context while helping them develop invaluable networks.

To help newcomers gain Canadian workplace experience and integrate into the Canadian labour market, the Government of Canada launched the Federal Internship for Newcomers Program in 2010. This program has provided newcomers with temporary Canadian work experience and training opportunities with federal government departments and agencies, as well as some private sector organizations.

Participants noted that more could be done to support employers to interview, hire and develop immigrant talent. Among the initiatives mentioned by participants are programs that provide incentives to employers in the form of a wage subsidy to cover associated costs, such as the salary of a support person, training costs, or the cost of specific integration measures. It is also imperative that employers recognize the value of government supports to help cover some of these costs.

Break down silos across stakeholder groups

Many stakeholders are doing excellent work to help integrate immigrants into the labour market. However, a huge opportunity exists to break down silos and increase collaboration among these organizations. During the consultation process, participants spoke of a persistent lack of awareness and teamwork between ISOs, regulatory authorities and other groups, noting that without a shared commitment to the end result, the entire system is undermined.

Organizations that attended the in-person consultations were often unaware of the programs and services that exist in their own region. They appreciated the opportunity to get together in one room and share their opinions, information and experience, and expressed interest in the establishment of an ongoing multi-stakeholder forum. It was widely acknowledged that a lack of communication and clearly articulated lines of responsibility impacts immigrants’ access to programs and services and hinders the ability of stakeholders to share promising practices and learn from one another.

Consultation participants applauded multi-stakeholder models such as the Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia, where employers and regulators meet on a regular basis to discuss issues and specific cases. In some examples, the multi-stakeholder model oversees alternative career services. It was suggested that these models could be built upon to create a multi-stakeholder table that would regularly review various aspects of the newcomer’s pathway to employment and report back to governments.

The right information for newcomers

Participants recognized that the Canadian immigration system is now geared towards addressing labour market gaps, but felt that immigrants are still not being effectively matched with available jobs. This is particularly the case in some large metropolitan areas where there is an oversupply of labour and a shortage of positions.

Stakeholders remarked that expectations are created by the immigration system—specifically, the previously mentioned ECA, as well as the points system—causing immigrants to be overly optimistic about the prospect of living and working in Canada. Unfortunately, we also heard that they are not always aware of the expectations of employers, the workplace or the requirements to practice their occupation.

Attract the best and brightest

“Where I come from, there is only information on medical exams and visa processing. There are not many consultants to inform newcomers about the challenges of educational credentials assessments.”
– Individual respondent

Establishing expectations begins before an immigrant even considers Canada as a destination. While the stakeholders we consulted were aware that some information about the immigration system and life in Canada is available to prospective immigrants, there is agreement that much more could be provided at the pre-decision stage. This is particularly necessary in regulated occupations where the immigrants must seek recognition of their foreign education and experience in order to apply for a licence.

LMI is particularly important in this regard. LMI refers to knowledge, facts and institutional data on the supply and demand of labour. It is used by individuals and organizations to make informed choices. Across Canada, participants agreed that LMI is vital to the decision-making process of immigrants when considering where to live and work. It tells them what jobs exist, where they are located and what skills are required to ensure faster and better job matches. An innovative model is Australia’s Labour Market Information Portal,Footnote 8 which forecasts trends annually based on input from a range of stakeholders.

Participants insisted that LMI must be clear, user-friendly, timely, reliable and easily accessed. Realistic information about potential challenges immigrants may encounter upon arriving in Canada is also necessary. Forecast labour market trends, filtered geographically and by occupation, were also identified as vitally important to helping immigrants make decisions.

It was suggested that governments and private organizations collaborate on the production and distribution of trusted LMI products and tools. Available at the pre-decision stage, information should be tailored for immigrants and comprehensive enough to allow them to make informed decisions about Canada.

Prepare immigrants to work in Canada

Once individuals are in the immigration system waiting to come to Canada, they need information on what will be required to integrate rapidly when they arrive. This pre-arrival information would include how to get their particular skills recognized and what types of soft skills are useful in the Canadian labour market. Across Canada, participants praised the usefulness of initiatives that deliver pre-departure orientation to immigrants in the final stages of the process, such as the Canadian Immigrant Integration Program.

Many participants believe this information should be a mandatory component of the immigration system. Some indicated that it should be tailored to individual needs and be provided at least six months prior to arrival to ensure immigrants have time to prepare.

Note: Right place promising practice - settlement services

Settlement programs that provide vital information and services for living and working in Canada ultimately support the labour market integration of newcomers. These programs often provide an orientation to the local labour market, information on how to look for and apply for work in Canada, job opportunities through job fairs, mentorship programs, language training and information on how to have credentials assessed. For example, the Settlement Integration Program offers settlement and integration services to immigrants and their families to help them understand, navigate and access the social and economic systems of British Columbia.

Participants agreed that to manage expectations, immigrants need to be fully aware of the difficulties they may face upon arrival in Canada, especially if they plan on working in regulated occupations. They should also be provided with information on alternative career pathways to the labour market, as well as entrepreneurship opportunities.

The right place to settle

There was wide agreement in our consultations that immigrants do not always land—or stay—where the jobs are. They often move from the original location to larger urban areas (referred to as “secondary migration”). Accordingly, helping immigrants and their families develop a sense of community should be an integral part of any hiring initiative.

Enhance the access to and availability of settlement services

Participants in our consultations suggested that newcomers may find it hard to adjust to life in smaller towns even if the job prospects are excellent, as the pace may be slower or the community less familiar with immigrants. Because of these and other factors, (e.g. weather, remoteness), immigrants often leave small towns and attempt to re-establish themselves in cities where they have a greater sense of belonging. The existence of established communities rather than employment opportunities is the main reason skilled immigrants flock to Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver or Calgary, and why smaller towns find it challenging to attract and retain them. Unfortunately, immigrants relocating to larger urban centres often end up in jobs that do not fully use their skills and experience.

It was noted that some organizations have made concerted efforts to overcome this problem. However, participants underlined that not all ISOs, especially those in smaller regions, are able to provide the same level and spectrum of services to their clients as larger organizations in urban centres.

Successful programs provided by ISOs typically include links to employers and educators and access to internship and mentoring programs, all of which foster networking between job seekers and employers.

The value of ISOs cannot be understated, as they are well positioned to communicate with immigrants and the many other stakeholders involved in the path to employment. They understand employer supply and demand, can promote the importance of networking and are able to provide the support newcomers need to market themselves. Because the role of ISOs is so vital, it was widely felt that more should be done to maximize their use by immigrants and relevant stakeholders such as employers and regulators.

The role of the employer in the settlement process cannot be overstated—a finding that is particularly concerning given that employers were the least represented stakeholder group at the consultations. There is a vital need not only to engage employers in the process of settlement, but also to increase their awareness of the value of employing newcomers in the first place.

Note: Right place promising practice - helping create social networks for immigrants

Newcomers need the opportunity to connect with employers in their field and employers need access to a talented workforce. A successful example, The Halifax Connector Program, enables newcomers to grow their professional network by matching them with a local employer, civil servant or community leader who meets with the candidate and then refers them to three other people in their network, and so on. The program allows newcomers to build their professional network within the community while also exposing potential employers to a skilled professional.

Continue to provide support for the whole family

When immigrants and their families feel connected to the community, they have better labour market outcomes. This correlation was made during many stakeholder consultations, notably by employers who have been successful in attracting and retaining newcomers in their small workplaces and regions. Participants recognized that a lack of a connection experienced by the family is often the main factor behind the move of highly skilled immigrants to more metropolitan cities.


Participants in Saskatoon noted that employers are not just hiring individuals, they are hiring a family. In order to retain newcomers, organizations need to consider the needs of a family versus one individual.

To counteract secondary migration, it was suggested that all stakeholders involved in the integration process, including employers, play an active role in ensuring that immigrants feel at home. Solutions might include providing direct access to ISOs, onboarding and career mapping and individual support. Some provinces have resources on their websites to help prepare communities to successfully integrate immigrants. Participants applauded the efforts of smaller cities where SMEs implemented cultural events for their employees and where all stakeholders, including the mayor, participated actively in settlement efforts.

Six integrated steps to help skilled immigrants find work faster

Successfully integrating new Canadians into the labour market is an organic process that must incorporate ongoing review, continuous improvement and, above all, collaboration. By bringing stakeholders together in our consultations, we have made important progress in this regard.

We discovered that many effective practices are already in place, but also learned that more can and should be done to encourage the labour market integration of new Canadians. Exploring the challenges by considering what “right skills, right attitude, right information and right place” should look like, we have identified general areas for improvement. While promising initiatives are underway, there are opportunities to refine and focus efforts—starting with the foreign credential recognition process.

What follows are the Panel’s specific recommendations and how we visualize their implementation.

  1. Require each regulated occupation to develop a single pan-Canadian standard, and insist that the assessment process be initiated from abroad by prospective immigrants and tracked in the immigration system. The single pan-Canadian standard should be complemented by a single point of contact and Web portal, which would streamline and simplify the licensing process and better align it to the new labour market demand-driven immigration system (i.e. Express Entry). To increase efficiency and transparency, the assessment and recognition process should be accessible pre-arrival and online to the fullest extent possible. Governments should collaborate with regulators and other stakeholders so that prospective immigrants are required to begin the credential recognition process as part of their immigration application.

    In addition, clear benchmarks, key performance indicators and timelines should be set to monitor progress to these goals globally and by occupation. Ongoing work within the Forum of Labour Market Ministers on foreign credential recognition is encouraging; we suggest that the Forum of Labour Market Ministers champion the approach featuring one standard to enter a profession and one assessment point for each regulated occupation.

  2. Develop a broader strategy for alternative careers with a more prominent role for regulators. Under the leadership of the Forum of Labour Market Ministers, provincial and territorial governments should mandate regulators to advise newcomers who are unsuccessful in the licensing process on the availability/applicability of a related career that best fits their skills and experience, or refer them to an appropriate organization for this service. In addition, a portal for alternative careers could bring together relevant resources and services.

  3. Foster leadership, support and a shared sense of responsibility among all stakeholders for helping immigrants find jobs that match their skills. Whether they realize it or not, all stakeholders play an important part in helping immigrants integrate into their communities and workplaces and can do more. Employers must recognize that it makes good business sense to hire immigrants. In order for this to happen, employers need to be better engaged. For example, larger employers could champion diversity with smaller employers. They could also share their expertise and experience through their Chamber of Commerce or membership association.

    Organizations that specialize in employer engagement, such as immigrant-serving organizations, immigrant employment councils, Chambers of Commerce, trade associations and sector councils, could develop closer links with employers through dedicated resources and services. Opportunities exist under the Canada Job Grant, for example, where immigrant-serving organizations could represent employers or match training institutions with employers to ensure that training programs meet the needs of both immigrants and employers.

    Governments could communicate more proactively with immigrant-serving organizations about existing skills training programs, such as the Canada Job Grant, and help small and medium-sized enterprises understand the return on investment of hiring new Canadians. Governments could incent this behaviour by providing resources for more active employment measures, such as wage subsidies and internships. For example, more resources could be allocated to expand the Federal Internship for Newcomers Program model to a broader number of private sector companies and include employer incentives.

  4. Establish a “Multi-Stakeholder Advisory Group for Better Immigrant Employment Outcomes.” This advisory group would be mandated to accelerate economic growth by fostering collaboration among stakeholders in order to place newcomers in jobs that match their skills. Membership would include employers, regulators and immigrant-serving organizations. The group would monitor and report to governments on progress in implementing the Panel’s recommendations, advise governments on broader issues involving the labour market integration of immigrants and champion the shared commitment of hiring newcomers.

  5. Produce more comprehensive labour market information targeted at newcomers. Under the leadership of the Forum of Labour Market Ministers, federal, provincial and territorial governments should provide immigrants with timely, accurate and geographically based labour market information. To set realistic expectations about job prospects in Canada, such information must be available to prospective immigrants before they make Canada their destination of choice. Follow-up information about requirements should also be provided during the immigration process. Governments should work with a range of stakeholders, such as regulators and employers, to better forecast and report on labour supply trends. Finally, trusted labour market information should be distributed to all Canadians as well as tailored for prospective immigrants.

  6. Educate communities on how to increase retention outside large metropolitan areas. Helping immigrants develop a better understanding of where employment opportunities exist, helping them integrate into the workplace and helping their families become part of the community should be key parts of any initiative to attract immigrants to a region—particularly a small and remote one. As a start, a single website featuring successful and innovative programs from across the country could be created and marketed to Chambers of Commerce and other business and community forums. Recognizing that retaining immigrants requires a holistic approach, efforts should reflect collaboration among employers, governments and immigrant-serving organizations.


Canada needs skilled immigrants, and in many cases, they need us. When newcomers to our country have the right information, adequate support and their skills appropriately and expediently recognized, they can integrate successfully into the labour market and optimize their contribution to the economy.

By consulting with immigrant-serving organizations, regulators, employers and other stakeholders—including immigrants themselves—we learned that these conditions are not met often enough. In an environment characterized by disjointed processes and insufficient resources, immigrants have often ended up in survival jobs.

Successful labour market integration of newcomers matters now more than ever. As Canada continues to be affected by large shifts in population composition (aging workforce), globalization and changing skill requirements, the stakes are high. Canada needs newcomers to remain competitive globally and to prosper.

The process of integrating newcomers into the labour market is collaborative by nature. In our consultations, we were encouraged to hear about successful practices and a willingness to recognize and draw on the expertise of other organizations.

The recommendations we provide for streamlining foreign credential recognition, increasing alternative career support, building employer engagement, improving labour market information, breaking down silos and increasing retention are not wishful thinking—they are well within our reach. By focusing more purposefully on outcomes and closing the gaps in the system through greater collaboration, we can better address the country’s labour market needs, tap into the talents of all Canadians and strengthen our economy.

Success is within our reach. Let’s get to work!

Panel members

Mr. Nick Noorani, Chair

Mr. Nick Noorani

Mr. Nick (Naeem) Noorani is a well-known authority on improving immigrant outcomes. Bestselling author of Arrival Survival Canada, founder of the magazine Canadian Immigrant and Managing Partner of Prepare for Canada, Mr. Noorani is also a social entrepreneur, a media personality and a sought-after speaker on the topics of immigrant integration in workplaces and soft skills for immigrants. He has become a powerful voice for successfully integrating immigrants in Canada and bridging cultural gaps in the workplace and beyond. Nick has created content for Welcome to Canada, the Government of Canada publication for immigrants.

Mr. Kim Allen

Mr. Kim Allen

Mr. Allen is the Chief Executive Officer of Engineers Canada, the national organization of the 12 engineering regulatory bodies that license Canada's more than 270,000 members of the profession—including engineers-in-training. With more than 20 years of accomplishment as a chief executive in the public, private and association sectors, Mr. Allen implements winning strategies for the success of the engineering profession and the promotion of the competency, integrity and public accountability of engineers.

Ms. Wafa Berny

Ms. Wafa Berny

Ms. Berny, M.B.A., M.Sc., arrived in Canada eight years ago, following a career working in banking and information technology in multinationals and in small and medium-sized enterprises. She acts as a consultant and lecturer on managing small and medium-sized enterprises at the Université du Québec in Montréal and assists entrepreneurs within its Centre for Entrepreneurship. Ms. Berny is particularly interested in entrepreneurship related to immigrants and technology.

Dr. Lori Campbell

Dr. Lori Campbell

Dr. Campbell has worked in the field of adult and community education since 1985, when she started teaching adult basic education in several Aboriginal communities in the Northwest Territories. She directed Community Programs for Aurora College in Fort Smith for five years. In 2001, she led the Aboriginal Teacher Education Program (ATEP) for the University of Alberta in Edmonton. Following the successful launch of ATEP, Dr. Campbell moved to Enbridge Pipelines and, in 2011, took on the exciting new role of Manager, Diversity. Dr. Campbell has been leading the organization in developing a Diversity and Inclusive strategy. Her education includes a Master’s in Adult Education and a Doctorate in Educational Policy Studies, Administration and Leadership from the University of Alberta.

Ms. Margaret Eaton

Ms. Margaret Eaton

Ms. Eaton has over 20 years' experience in the non-profit sector. Since 2012, she has served as Executive Director of the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC), a multi-stakeholder council that brings leaders together to create and champion solutions to better integrate immigrants in the Greater Toronto Area labour market. As part of her endeavours at TRIEC, Ms. Eaton led stakeholders in the creation of a new strategic plan to increase the impact and scale of TRIEC's work.

Mr. Rob Henderson

Mr. Rob Henderson

Mr. Henderson is President, Chief Executive Officer and architect of change at BioTalent Canada. BioTalent Canada is an independent, national, non-profit agency and Canada’s leading source for human resource information and biotechnology skills development. BioTalent Canada helps the bio-economy access the human resources tools and talent it needs. Working with over 30 national and provincial corporate partners, BioTalent Canada links job seekers with biotech employers.

Ms. Christine Nielsen

Ms. Christine Nielsen

Ms. Nielsen became Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science (CSMLS) in early 2010. In her seven previous years as CSMLS’s Director of Certification, she marshalled a pan-Canadian qualification and recognition program. Ms. Nielsen also led the research for the medical laboratory profession in Canada. She is currently the Chair of the Canadian Network of Associations of Regulators.

Annex A: Organizations present at in-person consultations


  • Access Employment Services
  • Accueil Liaison Pour Arrivants
  • ACEM – Financement Communautaire Responsable
  • Affiliation of Multicultural Societies and Services Agencies
  • Afghan Women's Organization
  • Alberta Health Services
  • Alberta International Medical Graduates Association
  • Alberta Network of Immigrant Women
  • Alberta Urban Municipalities Association
  • Algonquin College
  • Association of Neighbourhood Houses B.C.
  • Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia
  • Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada
  • Augurex


  • BioNova
  • BIOTECanada
  • BISImpact
  • Bow Valley College
  • British Columbia College of Social Workers


  • Calgary Economic Development
  • Calgary Immigrant Women's Association
  • Calgary Region Immigrant Employment Council
  • Cameco Corporation
  • Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists
  • Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists
  • Canadian Connection Program
  • Canadian Federation of Independent Business
  • Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters
  • Canadian Nurses Association
  • Carleton University – Metropolis
  • Carrefour de liaison et d'aide Multi-ethnique
  • Catholic Centre for Immigrants
  • Central Vancouver Island Multicultural Society
  • Centre d'accueil et de référence sociale et économique pour immigrants St-Laurent
  • Centre de recherche d’emploi de l'est
  • Centre for Immigrant and Community Services of Ontario
  • Centre for Newcomers
  • Centre social d'aide aux immigrants
  • Chamber of Commerce – Regina
  • Chambre de commerce du Montréal métropolitain
  • Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada
  • City of Calgary
  • Club de recherche d’emploi Montréal Centre-ville
  • College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Nova Scotia
  • College of Medical Radiation Technologists of Ontario
  • College of Midwives of British Columbia
  • College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario
  • College of Physiotherapists of Ontario
  • College of Psychologists of Ontario
  • College of Registered Nurses of British Columbia
  • College of Registered Psychiatric Nurses of British Columbia
  • College of Traditional Chinese Medicine
  • Colleges and Institutes Canada
  • Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy
  • Comité d’adaptation de la main d’œuvre pour les personnes immigrantes
  • Community Economic Development and Employability Corporation
  • Conférence régionale des élus de Montréal
  • Conseil du patronat du Québec
  • Consortium national de formation en santé
  • CultureLink Settlement Services


  • Dalhousie University
  • DIVERSEcity


  • ECO Canada
  • Economic and Social Council of Ottawa-Carleton
  • Edmonton Business Diversity Network
  • Engineers Canada


  • Federation of Medical Regulatory Authorities of Canada
  • Filipino-Canadian Association


  • GES Geotech Inc.
  • Government of Alberta – Ministry of Jobs, Skills, Training and Labour
  • Government of British Columbia – Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training
  • Government of Nova Scotia – Department of Labour and Advanced Education
  • Government of Nova Scotia – Office of Immigration
  • Government of Ontario – Ministry of Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade
  • Government of Saskatchewan – Apprenticeship and Trades Certification Commission
  • Government of Saskatchewan – Ministry of the Economy
  • Greater Halifax Partnership


  • HealthForceOntario
  • Hire Immigrants Ottawa
  • Humber College
  • Husky Energy


  • Immigrant Access Fund Society of Alberta
  • Immigrant Employment Council of British Columbia
  • Immigrant Services Calgary
  • Immigrant Services Society of British Columbia
  • Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia
  • Information and Communications Technology Council
  • Inspired HR
  • International Credential Evaluation Services / British Columbia Institute of Technology
  • Internationally Educated Health Professionals – Saskatchewan
  • Irving Shipbuilding


  • JobStart


  • Laboratoires Charles River
  • Language Assessment Services of Nova Scotia Ltd.
  • LASI World Skills
  • L'Hirondelle, Services d'accueil et d'intégration des immigrants
  • LifeSciences BC
  • LISTN Representative
  • Local Immigration Partnering


  • Mainland Nova Scotia Building and Construction Trades Council
  • Making Changes
  • Maytree Foundation
  • Medical Council of Canada
  • Mellohawk Logistics Inc.
  • Michelle Béliveau Conseil Inc.
  • Micro Skills Centre
  • Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Canada Ltd.
  • Mosaic BC
  • Multicultural Association of the Greater Moncton Area
  • Multicultural Helping House Society


  • National Dental Examining Board
  • Nova Scotia Business Inc.
  • Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources


  • Office français de l'immigration et de l'intégration
  • Ontario Society of Professional Engineers
  • Ordre des comptables professionnels agréés du Québec
  • Ordre des technologues en imagerie
  • Ordre professionnel des technologistes médicaux du Québec
  • Ottawa Community Immigrant Services Organization


  • Parkdale Intercultural Association
  • Perspectives nouvelles
  • Petroleum Human Resources Council
  • Petroleum Services Association of Canada
  • Polycultural Immigrant and Community Services
  • Progressive Contractors Association of Canada
  • PROMotion Intégration Société nouvelle


  • Regina Open Door Society
  • Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario
  • Réseau des cégeps et des collèges francophones du Canada
  • Réseau en immigration francophone de la Nouvelle-Écosse


  • S.U.C.C.E.S.S. BC
  • Saskatchewan Intercultural Association – Connector Program
  • Saskatchewan Polytechnic
  • Saskatchewan Society of Medical Laboratory Technologists
  • Scotiabank
  • Service Intégration Travail Outaouais
  • Shimfrez Inc.
  • Skills for Change Employment Programs


  • Table de concertation des organismes au service des personnes réfugiées et immigrantes Inc.
  • Tesoc Multicultural Settlement Services
  • Toronto Workforce Innovation Group


  • Université de Montréal – Institut de recherche en immunologie et en cancérologie
  • University of British Columbia – Continuing Education, Metropolis
  • University of Calgary
  • University of Ottawa – Centre on Governance
  • University of Saskatchewan
  • University of Toronto – Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, Beyond Canadian Experience


  • Wilson International Network: Immigration Corp
  • Women’s Employment Outreach
  • Working Skills Centre


  • YMCA Connection Newcomers Program
  • YMCA of Greater Halifax
  • YWCA of Prince Albert

Annex B: Summary of online responses

From October 9 to December 1, 2014, the Panel on Employment Challenges of New Canadians used an online survey to consult with an extensive network of stakeholders involved in the pathway to employment of new Canadians. Some 620 participants took part in the survey, with the majority identifying themselves as either individuals or representatives of immigrant-serving organizations. Other groups that participated include organizations involved in the assessment of foreign credentials, academia, businesses and governments.

The summary organizes the responses into four themes:

  • Employment challenges faced by newcomers
  • Available supports for newcomers
  • Role of employers
  • Additional actions to help newcomers find jobs

Regarding employment challenges, almost all participants stated that newcomers are facing employment-related difficulties in Canada. The following table provides a ranking to best illustrate the perception of the employment difficulties faced by newcomers according to individuals and immigrant-serving organizations. A ranking of “1” indicates that a response was mentioned the most frequently by participants to this particular question, as per a subjective analysis.

Table 1: Responses to the question regarding challenges facing newcomers in obtaining jobs that make full use of their skills and experience, as ranked by individuals (primarily newcomers) and immigrant-serving organizations (ISOs).

Responses Rank
Individuals ISOs
Difficulties with the recognition of foreign credentials 2 1
Difficulty obtaining / lack of Canadian experience 1 2
Language competency challenges 6 3
Cultural adaption challenges 7 4
Perceived employer bias 3 5
Over qualification 5 6
Inadequate pre-arrival information (including labour market information, misinformation) 9 7
Lack of social and professional networks 4 7
Challenges associated with the immigration system 7 9

Information about other topics covered in the online consultations can be found in the detailed report summarizing the responses.

Annex C: Information & resources

All reports were accessed in December 2014 and are listed alphabetically by title.

A Descriptive Study of Employers’ Attitudes and Practices in Hiring Newcomer Job Seekers
CERIS: The Ontario Metropolis Centre, 2007

Adjusting the Balance: Fixing Canada’s Economic Immigration Policies
The Maytree Foundation, 2009

Attracting, Retaining and Integrating Skilled Immigrants: An Analysis of Canada’s Leading Employers
The Maytree Foundation, 2011

Brain Gain: The Economic Benefits of Recognizing Learning and Learning Credentials in Canada
Conference Board of Canada, 2001

Canadian Social Trends Immigrants’ perspectives on their first four years in Canada
Statistics Canada, 2007

Characteristics and Labour Market Outcomes of Internationally-educated Immigrants
Statistics Canada, 2010

Do Enclaves Matter in Immigrant Adjustment?
Institute for the Study of Labo r, 2002

Ethnic Enclaves and Immigrant Labour Market Outcomes: Quasi-Experimental Evidence
Anna Piil Damm, 2006

From Immigration to Integration: Local Solutions to a Global Challenge
OECD Publications, 2006

Immigrant Integration and Policy in the United States: A Loosely Stitched Patchwork
Irene Bloemraad & Els de Graauw, included in Queen’s University publication, 2012

Immigrant labour market outcomes in Canada: The benefits of addressing wage and employment gaps
RBC Economics, 2011

Immigrant Skill Utilization: Trends and Policy Issues
Jeffrey Reitz, Josh Curtis & Jennifer Elrick, 2013

Immigrants as Innovators: Boosting Canada’s Global Competitiveness
Conference Board of Canada, 2010

Immigrants working in regulated occupations
Statistics Canada, 2010

Immigration and Ethnocultural Diversity in Canada
Statistics Canada, 2011

Jobs Report: T he State of the Canadian Labour Market
Department of Finance Canada, 2014

Knocking Down Barriers Faced By New Immigrants T o Canada: Fitting the Pieces Together
TD Economics Special Report, 2012

More Employers Adopt Good Immigrant Employment Practices: A trend analysis of the Best Employers for New Canadians competition
The Maytree Foundation, 2013

Overqualification among recent university graduates in Canada
Statistics Canada, 2014

Redesigning Collaboration: Opportunities for Innovation in Toronto’s Labour Market
Mowat Centre, 2014

The Canadian Immigrant Labour Market 2008–2011
Statistics Canada, 2012

The Future of Productivity: An eight-step game plan for Canada
Deloitte, 2011

The Human Capital Model of Selection and the Long-run Economic Outcomes of Immigrants
Statistics Canada, 2014

The Taxi Driver Syndrome: Behind-the-scenes immigration changes are creating new problems on top of old ones
Jeffrey G. Reitz, 2011

What Works: Labour Market Integration Initiatives for Skilled Immigrants in Canada
HRSDC Policy Research Directorate, Canada, 2006


Footnote 1

Statistics Canada, Immigration and Ethnocultural Diversity in Canada (accessed 22 December 2014); available from

Return to footnote 1 referrer

Footnote 2

S. Kustec. The role of migrant labour supply in the Canadian labour market. Citizenship and Immigration Canada, 2012. (accessed 22 December 2014); available from

Return to footnote 2 referrer

Footnote 3

J. Plante. Characteristics and Labour Market Outcomes of Internationally-educated Immigrants. Statistics Canada, 2010. (accessed 22 December 2014); available from

Return to footnote 3 referrer

Footnote 4

TD Economics Special Report. Knocking Down Barriers Faced By New Immigrants To Canada: Fitting the Pieces Together, 2012. (accessed 13 January 2105); available from

Return to footnote 4 referrer

Footnote 5

RBC Economics. Immigrant labour market outcomes in Canada: The benefits of addressing wage and employment gaps, 2011. (accessed 13 January 2015); available from

Return to footnote 5 referrer

Footnote 6

See Annex A for a list of organizations participating and Annex B for a summary of online responses

Return to footnote 6 referrer

Footnote 7

A few occupations, including airline pilots, locomotive engineers and master mariners are regulated at the federal level.

Return to footnote 7 referrer

Footnote 8

Australia Labour Market Information Portal (accessed 22 December 2014); available from

Return to footnote 8 referrer