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New report looks at the role of immigrants as essential workers

November 12, 2021

By Canadian Immigrant Magazine |

To what extent are immigrants and temporary residents over-represented in essential occupations and sectors? How can government and employers ensure immigrant skills match essential jobs?

These are questions that are tackled by a new report Valued Workers, Valuable Work: The Current and Future Role of (Im)migrant Talent, released by the Conference Board of Canada.

Canada relies on immigrants and temporary residents in many essential sectors such as healthcare and agriculture. But the immigration system has a strong focus on highly educated immigrants, which does not always correspond to the need of the labour market. This leads to highly qualified immigrants working in essential roles that don’t not make the best use of their education and skills, limits their career prospects and leads to lower job satisfaction.

The study finds that this is particularly common among newcomers working as nurse aides, orderlies, and patient service associates (45 per cent); transport truck drivers (28 per cent); and process control and machine operators in food and beverage processing (34 per cent).

The report offers various recommendations to address Canada’s labour shortage in the essential sectors and provide quality opportunities for immigrants and temporary residents. These include turning essential jobs into better paying, higher quality opportunities and inviting immigrants with the right skills and experience to fill vacancies in the essential sector. The study calls for effective and rapid credential recognition to help fill vacancies with the right talent.

Access the complete report here.

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