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2014-03-06 at 10:59

Employment gaps

Leith Dunick, tbnewswatch.com
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The Canadian experience shouldn’t be a prerequisite to immigrants landing jobs in this country, says the chair of the Ontario Human Rights Commission.

Barbara Hall on Thursday said with aging populations, shrinking birthrates and a shortage of skilled labour, Canada is relying more and more on newcomers to Canada to fill employment gaps.

Yet immigrants often face both high rates of underemployment and unemployment.

Often potential employers fail to recognize foreign credentials and experience. Other barriers include language and communication difficulties, employers not helping integrate newcomers into the workplace or being rejected because they’re considered overqualified for the work at hand.

Hall said the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s policy on removing the Canadian experience barrier is an important step in assuring equal opportunity for all.

“People come here often because of their experience and their skill sets,” Hall said, introducing the policy to Thunder Bay government and business leaders.

“The reason they get through the immigration process is because they’re skilled people. And they arrive in Canada and often they’re put in a Catch-22 situation. They go to apply for jobs and they’re asked for Canadian experience, which clearly they don’t have.”

Hall said it’s an impossible situation. What they’re saying is it shouldn’t matter where someone got their experience.

“The question is do you have the skills and the competencies to do the job? What we’re saying to employers is you need to describe what are the skills, what is the competency you need in the job and then find ways to assist people in establishing they have that,” Hall said.

“We think that’s a win situation for everyone. For employers it increases the size of the pool to hire from. And it means more employers will have employees that reflect the customers and contacts in the rest of the world. Clearly for the individuals and their families it means they can work in their area of expertise and settle into the country.”

The policy is the OHRC’s interpretation of the human rights code, which says employers can’t discriminate of the basis of a number of things, including ethnic and religious background.

Hall by putting a policy in place, if employers breach it, employees would then have a mechanism in place to file a complaint at the human rights tribunal.

“But more importantly than that, what we want to do is educate employers about the benefits of getting rid of that rigid requirement and going to what are the skills we need and finding new ways of helping people establish that they have those skills.”

Cathy Woodbeck heads the Thunder Bay Multicultural Association and said her group welcomes any policy that better connects immigrants to employers in the city.

“We think that getting the information out there, educating employers and HR professionals, just assisting newcomers in finding positions (is great),” Woodbeck said.

Luckily it’s not a huge issue in Thunder Bay.

“We haven’t heard a lot of cases. We haven’t heard a lot of that,” Woodbeck said. “We’ve got a lot of employers that are looking for trained professionals and we’ve connected a lot, both through the (immigration) portal and our multicultural programs.”

Coun. Rebecca Johnson said it’s important that Thunder Bay reflect the diversity of the world around it, both in the workforce and at the government level.

“Removing barriers is so important to support newcomers to Canada. It’s not just the right thing to do, it’s good business for organizations.”
The full policy is available at www.ohrc.on.ca.

 

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Tbnewswatch.com(19)

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Comments

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kaseybear says:
The key thing that they avoided was the reason for shrinking birth rates and skilled labour. Primary reason for people not having as many children is because they can't afford to! Same applies to skilled labour, after going to school these same companies won't hire you because you don't have the work experience or they feel you are overqualified. Not everyone can go to college for years because you end up 10's of thousands in debt before you even graduate! Solve your citizens problems before trying to solve the immigrants problems!
3/6/2014 11:55:59 AM
smartguy83 says:
Thunder Bay is in serious trouble. Young adults continue to pursue post secondary education, which I support. However, there is not enough industry to support these graduates in the region. IF you want to stay in Thunder Bay you need to consider pursuing trades.

I was fortunate to get a job right out of University. I know others who are well educated who have yet to find a legit career 5-8 years later.

Parents need to stop pushing their children into post-secondary education. Teach them about trades as well. Give them a choice!
3/6/2014 2:01:41 PM
Arch Stanton says:
Interesting that the Ontario Provincial Parliament only last year banned foreign-trained accountants - NB: trained to GLOBAL IFRS standards - from practicing in Ontario... AND that the same Govts still allows such qualifications to stand as part of the "Skilled Worker" immigration program!!!

Maybe they just want all taxi-drivers to have an MBA!!!
3/6/2014 12:53:36 PM
smartguy83 says:
It's called quality control...write the conversion exam and you are good to go...Same goes for Canadian designated professionals moving to other parts of the world.
3/6/2014 1:59:08 PM
The Beaver..... says:
I have never known a unemployed Plumber or Electrician unless the wanted to be. Why is it so difficult for Ontario to follow the European system of training young people in trades.
3/6/2014 3:10:27 PM
SomeGuy says:
I think it's cause trades are not pushed in High School it is always University, University, University. If your a guy you go get an engineering degree, if your a women you go into the humanities. If your not that good of a student then you go to a trade.
3/7/2014 10:01:16 AM
unknowncronik says:
"If your not that good of a student then you go to a trade."

seriously SomeGuy?

I can believe if you wrote something like
"If your not that good of a student then you run for mayor", but not what you mentioned.

Trades today call for an aptitude test just to get in the door & you must know your math pretty well to become an apprentice. let alone becoming a journeyman...

Some still believe trades are for dumb dumbs, but that's far from the truth!
3/7/2014 10:30:11 AM
SomeGuy says:
I was writing in the context when I was in high school, but that was about 15 years ago.

I still remember my guidance councilor saying that I shouldn't even bother with post secondary because I was a straight C student.
3/8/2014 9:17:04 AM
The Beaver..... says:
The youth unemployment level in Germany and Holland in 2012 was
4.1 percent and 6.6 percent respectively much the same as today here it is 20% so what gives here.
3/6/2014 4:13:28 PM
North18 says:
The Beaver, part of the answer to your question is, because people in Canada would rather use the welfare system and stay at home and do nothing as opposed to getting out there, educating themselves, and getting a good paying job. Now, don't get me wrong, there are people out there that need the social assistance program and I don't condemn them for that, but there are a lot of people who use it just because it is the easier thing to do. Take my old neighbor for example. When they moved into the house beside me, he had a part time job and worked almost everyday. His partner was on some sort of disability payment at the same time. After a couple of months, he quit his job to go on welfare because he would get more money that way every month. And I know this because he told me himself and in his mind, he thought it was funny because he was screwing the system. Brutal!!!!
3/6/2014 4:16:33 PM
The Beaver..... says:
I don't quite agree with you on that one North. The system is exploited in a far different fashion. When the post war immigrants came with nothing but their skills as bricklayers and machinists and what not they made this country to what it is today. Bologna was considered Deli meat. These people went to work and they worked hard and because of their pride and ambition it was a forgone conclusion that their sons and daughters would never have to work like that.
These kids are today's lawyers and Accountants and DR's. When that inflow of immigrants stopped and then turned to Asia the picture changed dramatically. That group is now replicating what the European immigrants started. Look at our own situation the Slateriver Valley Farms were Ukrainian and Polish in my days.
Today without fail the are all Dutch. Guess what the Kids are going to be DR and lawyers and Accountants.All of them had that Parental push and pride to help them on their way.
3/6/2014 5:28:17 PM
nvjgu says:
If your in construction or a skilled job that requires a Provincial ticket/ trade licence or other and expect to come to Canada and work anywhere in Canada with out a Prov. ticket, you are mistaken. Take an apprenticeship an get a ticket. Don't expect to float into the country and start working past people who have put in there time.
3/6/2014 9:33:15 PM
nvjgu says:
Maybe Barb Hall would do the right thing and step aside to one of those immigrants.
3/6/2014 9:39:54 PM
yqtyqt says:
Actually that's a great suggestion. What better message than to "walk the walk, talk the talk". Give up your cushy government position to one of the oppressed that you say you represent.

Hall has lived off the gravy at the public trough too long, and should step aside to let a visible minority take over the reigns.

I guess her left wing government ideals only run so deep. When this becomes a personal issue for her, she'll tell you a different story.
3/7/2014 12:26:14 PM
deanc12 says:
Where are all these jobs for tradesman, I don't see unions or companies advertising for apprentices. I am self employed 309A and always asked how can my son become a electrician, I tell them call the IBEW or go work at a mill and wait your turn on the senority list, I was hired out of high school with good grades for a public utility they trained me. In my day 1980s trades apprentices didn't waste money on college. Training was a combination of hands on and schooling.
3/6/2014 10:28:18 PM
madtrapper says:
Actually deanc12.....last week I had seen an ad on kijiji from ironworkers union, almost begging for apprentices.
My son trained through them a few years back and is now a licenced journeyman living in a Calgary high rise doing quite well for himself.

3/7/2014 8:05:08 AM
The Beaver..... says:
The Sooth Sayers are wrong 60% of the time but expect all of us to belief in their wisdom

Economists had projected an overall increase in employment of about 17,000 jobs, so the report from Statistics Canada fell shy of expectations
3/7/2014 8:55:32 AM
Tbaybmkr says:
Yes there is a shortage of skilled trades... A shortage of skilled trades that want to work for minimum wage!
3/7/2014 3:11:10 PM
joey joe joe jr. shabadoo says:
If your being paid minimum wage for a skilled trade, then LEAVE ASAP & find a union that will take you!
Show yer ticket to the union & get the proper $30 to $45 bucks an hour like the rest of us!
3/8/2014 11:28:59 AM
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