Even as Canada welcomes newcomers including refugees, many struggle to find jobs

By: Jack Xu

Even as Canada continues to welcome newcomers including refugees, a staggering number is still finding it tough to land a job. A Statistics Canada report updated earlier this year paints a rather grim picture and says that immigrants who landed 5 or a few years earlier reported an unemployment rate of 10.2% at all education levels. Immigrants with no degree, certificate or diploma reported an unemployment rate of 14.8% and high school graduates reported an unemployment rate of 10.4%. Considering the fact that the overall unemployment rate in January this year across Canada was 6.8%, this is without a doubt a large number.

Not a lot has changed since 2003; a report by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) titled A Perspective from the Second Wave of the Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants to Canada (LSIC) -Two Years after Landing in the year said that two years after landing, refugees reported an unemployment rate of 44%.  Here is the silver lining though; this group of immigrants made the biggest gains in entering the labour market, given that 21% were employed six months after arrival.

On the other hand, skilled worker principal applicants reported the highest employment rate with 72% among all immigration categories. Spouses of skilled workers and dependants and family class reported an employment rate of 52% and 49% respectively.

Now that we have the statistics, it is time to address the burning question; what do we as a community to get newcomers including refugees jobs, considering many of them do not speak English?  The answer, we provide them adequate training and if possible subsidized education to help them get valuable Canadian work experience.

As a non-profit social enterprise, MCIS has been at the forefront to train newcomers and refugees. Not only have we hired, but we are also offering eligible candidates our interpreting training program at a subsidized rate. In fact, several Syrian refugees have attended our training program since the time they landed.

So if you are a newcomer who speaks a second language, contact us to learn more about our training programs for interpreters and translators, and freelance opportunities.

Vivek Vijayapalan| February 15, 2017|Toronto, Ontario