In February, during our annual kick-off, I came across many familiar faces working for us as interpreters and translators. As a few of them stood on stage and shared their heartwarming stories, there was one common thread which caught my attention; they were newcomers who got their start in Canada because of the language service industry.
The world is changing rapidly, and so too is our industry. But what has not changed is the sheer number of opportunities it has created recently for New Canadians. Interestingly, despite the fact that machine translation and interpretation have significantly changed the dynamics of the game and end users are getting used to accessing real-time information, language professionals are still in high demand.
Consider this: according to a report of the Government of Canada, the industry is expected to create over 7,000 jobs for interpreters, translators, and terminologists between 2015 and 2024. The good news is that 7,300 new job seekers, including newcomers, are expected to fill these positions. Better still: the industry has plenty of room for freelancers, making it a growth industry.
A Labour Force Survey from 2015 indicates that 51% of the workforce in the occupation (titled Translators, terminologists, and interpreters) are self-employed. You heard it right!
More than half of the workforce is self-employed! By contrast, the average for all other occupations is only 14%. This gives newcomers increased financial flexibility.
Seventy-one percent of interpreters, translators and terminologists are employed full-time, which is close to the national average of 81% for other occupations.
A Translation Bureau report titled ‘Profile of the Canadian Language Industry’ sheds some more light on this, showing that 70.5% of respondents who took part in a survey for the report said that they did paid freelance work.
At MCIS we welcome this development and understand that newcomers are an untapped talent pool. That is why we train, test and accredit many of them; hitting the job market as soon as they graduate. On average, we provide training to over 1,000 interpreters every year helping them gain valuable Canadian work experience.
We also offer subsidized training for newcomers who have been in Canada for less than five years. In fact, many newcomers gain their initial work experience with us. Also, we train translators through our Translator Training Program to fill languages of lesser diffusion. Students can take our training programs both online and in-class.
Our social impact initiatives include helping refugees and newcomers by settling them in Canada. For instance, last year we sponsored a Syrian family of four from Lebanon. We aim to continue this process and sponsor another family this year.
Newcomers to Canada bring with them enormous talent and skill, and we feel privileged that they choose to work with us and we’re grateful that they choose to use these skills to provide a valuable service.
If you are interested in knowing more about our services and social impact initiatives, please click here.
Vivek Vijayapalan, Marketing and Communications Coordinator, February 27, 2018