In search of better employment, many people immigrate to Canada. Still, there are many problems for immigrants who move to Canada because they need financial and emotional support, and sometimes they feel discriminated against.
Canada is believed to be the top country receiving the highest number of immigrants annually. It is perceived to be the most welcoming country for immigrants worldwide, although there are several challenges that these immigrants face after residing in Canada. Most of the immigrants that have managed to migrate to nada have been reported to struggle with the issue of unemployment, and almost all of them are unemployed. Recently the number of unemployed individuals in Canada has increased steadily due to the number of unemployed immigrants that have managed to migrate to Canada. This problem is not only in Canada, but other countries such as the United States have also experienced the number of increased unemployed immigrants, but Canada has become the picture of the story because of its ability to attract more immigrants due to their policy of immigration that influence immigration, superior education level, prolific work experience and the high demand of skilled labour force by industries due to insufficient labour that can promote economic growth. Despite the high rate of immigrants in Canada who are desperately looking for a job, the real question is, what are some employment-related challenges they face? Therefore this essay will focus on factors that make immigrants miss employment opportunities in Canada; hence their life becomes miserable in Canada.
Employment Challenges Faced by immigrants
As mentioned above, Canada is the most welcoming country for immigrants. Still, experts have raised concerns and questions about whether immigrants are welcomed because what they expect in Canada is the opposite. According to information from Canada statistics in 2013, the number of unemployed individuals in Canada was 5.9 per cent, and out of the 5.9%, the new immigrants’ unemployment rate was 11.2 per cent. There is a problem of unemployment for immigrants in Canada. Various reasons make immigrants unemployed. Some of the reasons include a lack of Canadian work experience, communication inability fluently due to the language barrier, and discrimination.
In Canada, the common phrase that immigrants face is “no Canadian job experience, no employment”. Some immigrants have claimed they are facing the same problem even after two years of staying in Canada. At first, the immigrants come to Canada to get a working opportunity in their field of profession, but they fail to get a chance. The main issue is that in Canadian organizations and companies, 75% of employers require the immigrant to have Canadian education and the country’s world experience to give them a job. It is surprising because the employers are not after the skills and knowledge that the immigrant has and the work experience he obtained from his country.
In several cases, you find that the immigrant education qualifications have been assessed and accepted by the organization assessment of Canada. However, some employers still need to accept that the educational qualifications of the immigrant are the same in Canada, according to the assessment. Nevertheless, when immigrants apply for an advertised position that matches their educational qualifications and experience, they are selected because they are not even invited for an interview, even if they seem to fit the position. This is because when the employers realize that the employee’s application is of an immigrant, they immediately conclude that the immigrants do not have the work experience they need (Tiagi, 2015). This is one of the main reasons that has made several immigrants who have the qualifications to work in white-collar jobs settle for small jobs that do not match their qualifications so that they can sustain their needs. In Canada, therefore, if you look closely at the survival jobs, you will find that there are many immigrants and other groups of refugees in Canada because the jobs are too demanding and need hard work. Therefore, few white people can use them.
It has been reported from different sources that most employees directly ask for Canadian work experience during interviews that are carried face to face (Government of Canada; Immigration, 2012). In addition, employees have developed a character of checking for the experience in the immigrant’s employee resume and the format they used to write a resume. They also deny the immigrants who appear to have a different format as in Canada—in a report recorded in 2003 from statistic Canada claimed that about 116,700 immigrants from different countries have applied for a position in Canada, and 70% have claimed that they did not manage to get the position because they do not have Canadian work experience. To conclude, Statistics Canada is a trusted source that has confirmed that immigrants’ lack of Canadian work experience is the difficult barrier immigrants face when looking for an employment opportunity in Canada.
Next, the other factor that denies immigrants a chance to secure employment is the language barrier. This is the other big problem that immigrants in Canada have been facing apart from a lack of Canadian work experience (Government of Canada; Immigration, 2012) .in this report there has proven that there is a small number of immigrants who get employment opportunities because of lack of fluent communication and language barrier (Cheng et al., 2020). Reports have shown that only some immigrants can communicate in fluent English, which Canadian companies highly value before offering employment opportunities to immigrants. Again in his report, he mentioned that most immigrants struggling to secure employment in Canada range in the age bracket of 23-30 years old (MacRaild, 2016). Some immigrants find it difficult to communicate in English, especially when English is not the first language in their home country. Most employers in Canada look for employees who can communicate and express their views in an organization without any difficulty. Lack of efficient communication in English makes employers even avoid looking at the immigrants’ qualifications and skills.
This makes most of the women take work that offers them little offer no income at all. They engage in unpaid work such as housekeeping, food preparation and babysitting. Employees fear employing immigrants who cannot communicate fluent English because they fear that they may end up causing chaos and additional expenses to reduce profit in the organizations (Zuberi & Ptashnick, 2011). They believe that if an employee cannot communicate, then there is no way that he can understand the words that he is being old such as taking food orders from customers in a restaurant, communicating with employees during lunch break, communicating with employees and negotiating with customers. Due to these reasons, most immigrants enter Canada with low-entry jobs to learn English and communicate efficiently.
Finally, discrimination and racism are other problems that immigrants face when looking for employment in Canada. Most white people in Canada believe that any black immigrant in Canada is either illegal in Canada or a criminal with ill intentions. Therefore they do not easily accept work and interact with them in workplaces (Guerrero & Rothstein, 2011). White people have more privilege than black immigrants and are entitled to white-collar jobs in Canada, while black immigrants are believed to fit in jobs that are not professional. The white people are fluent in English, which makes them believe that they are superior to the immigrants who have difficulties in communication because they cannot communicate fluently. (Cheng et al., 2020). This has made most employers choose white people over black immigrants because white people understand the Canadian culture and language and have Canadian work experience. The employers even went ahead to discriminate against the immigrant’s social class. As mentioned before, most immigrants in Canada fill the low wages work in Canada because they cannot get in the suitable position. Therefore these survival jobs have trapped them in poverty, something that the employer can judge without mistake. Just by looking at the dress cords of an immigrant and the white people, employers can easily judge the social class, which most of the time denies immigrants employment opportunities.
When qualified immigrants are not offered the jobs they are qualified for in Canada, there is a need for more skills and knowledge of the immigrant. For instance, when an experienced doctor in Africa migrates to Canada and starts working as a salesman, this is a waste of skills of an educated international immigrant to favour a white individual. Therefore the government of Canada should pass laws that can protect immigrants from some of the problems that they face when looking for employment in the field that they have studied.
Cheng, L., Im, G.-H., Doe, C., & Douglas, S. R. (2020). Identifying English Language Use and Communication Challenges Facing “Entry-Level” Workplace Immigrants in Canada. Journal of International Migration and Integration. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12134-020-00779-w
Government of Canada; Immigration, R. and C. C. (2012, November 7). How much work experience do I need to be eligible for the Canadian Experience Class? Www.cic.gc.ca. https://www.cic.gc.ca/english/helpcentre/answer.asp?qnum=664&top=29
Guerrero, L., & Rothstein, M. G. (2011). Antecedents of Underemployment: Job Search of Skilled Immigrants in Canada. Applied Psychology, 61(2), 323–346. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1464-0597.2011.00470.x
MacRaild, D. M. (2016). Invisible immigrants: the English in Canada since 1945. Immigrants & Minorities, 34(3), 320–321. https://doi.org/10.1080/02619288.2016.1165008
Tiagi, R. (2015). Are immigrants in Canada over-represented in riskier jobs relative to Canadian-born labour market participants? American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 58(9), 933–942. https://doi.org/10.1002/ajim.22441
Zuberi, D., & Ptashnick, M. (2011). In Search of a Better Life: The Experiences of Working Poor Immigrants in Vancouver, Canada. International Migration, 50, e60–e93. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2435.2010.00659.x