MOSAIC’s Immigrant Professional Conference Offers Encouragement and Strategies for Career-minded Newcomers

October 21, 2017

By MOSAIC BC |

The Conference Board of Canada has forecast that increased immigration could contribute 25-33% of the country’s annual GDP growth by 2040, but cautions that Canada “must improve the job outcomes of newcomers” in order for this economic boon to be realized. The October report stresses that higher immigration levels will only create the anticipated benefits if newcomers have good economic outcomes.

According to a Statistics Canada report in 2014, university-educated newcomers are less likely to find work than less-educated newcomers, or immigrants who have been in Canada for a decade or longer. While only 3.3 per cent of Canadian-born university grads were out of work during the period from 2009-2014, a full 14% of educated newcomers who had been in Canada for five years or less were unemployed.

Known obstacles to finding work in the professions for which these newcomers are educated and trained in include the lack of foreign credential recognition by regulatory bodies, and resistance from Canadian employers to recognize work experience gained in other countries.

MOSAIC employment programs staff see first-hand the costs borne by newcomers before they are able to get their careers on track. Newcomers who enjoyed professional success before they came to Canada, but are unable to find work in their fields after lengthy and sustained efforts can become disheartened when they realize their careers are stalled, or have come completely off track in their new homeland.

Larry Chan, Senior Manager of Employment Programs has helped newcomers to find work for more than two decades. “It can take years for a professional newcomer to get a foothold on his/her chosen career path. And that’s if they are even able to get back onto the same career track. Many just give up and change careers. They have great uncertainty about their future, and the financial and emotional toll on many newcomers is enormous. It’s harder now than it was even 10 years ago”.

Chan said there is limited funding for programs to address these issues, but that there is clearly a need to offer clients and newcomers something that will offer inspiration, encouragement and advice on how to continue their professional advancement in Canada. It was this awareness that led to the formation of the Immigrant Professionals Conference, now returning for the fourth consecutive year, and supported financially by MOSAIC with assistance from returning sponsor RBC.

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