Multicultural BC needs to be Immigrant-Friendly.
“The ‘perfect storm’ has been created by an aging workforce, a declining 15-24 year old new entrant pool and stiff international competition for talent. Strong economic growth over the last five years has increased the skills gaps in BC. Small businesses are particularly vulnerable when trying to deal with the impacts of labour shortages.” The Coalition of B.C. Businesses
Based on a growing demand for skilled, well-educated workers as “Baby Boomers” increasingly retire in BC, hiring an immigrant is becoming a necessity. A new website was recently launched by the Immigrant Employment Council of BC to help employers connect with immigrants to increase the diversity of the workforce: http://www.iecbc.ca/
Skilled immigrants will be filling the gap in our shrinking labour force. “Immigrants accounted for 21.2% of Canada’s total labour force in 2006. By the end of the next decade, immigrants will account for 100% of net labour force growth.” http://www12.statcan.ca/English/census/06/analysis/immcit/index.cfm
In the past Canada has had too many qualified immigrants doing menial tasks instead of practicing their professions and trades and gaining valuable experience. The economic cost of not recognizing the credentials and skills of Canadians (particularly recent immigrants) is estimated at between $4.1 billion and $5.9 billion each year.
Skilled immigrants are highly educated. “Of recent immigrants (between 2001-06) 51% have a degree, twice that of the Canadian born labour force.” http://www12.statcan.ca/census-recensement/2006/as-sa/index-eng.cfm
While many immigrant professionals will still struggle to transfer their qualifications to Canadian equivalency, the Government of Canada now has a number of initiatives underway to assist immigrants and employers evaluate foreign credentials.
The goal is to connect skilled immigrants with BC employers in a more culturally diverse population, and this also presents opportunities for participating companies to expand into global markets by leveraging new language skills at their disposal.
Here is a free contact for potential local employers:
Geoff Frost, Job Developer/Industry Liaison
202-405 North Road
Coquitlam, BC V3K 3V9