Language, equal accreditation among barriers
Despite labour shortages, some of Calgary’s newest residents are having a tough time trying to find jobs.
For the past 12 years, Alberta has generated one-quarter of Canada’s new jobs, according to the State of the West 2008, a report compiled by Canada West Foundation senior economist Brett Gartner released today.
However Calgary and its immigrant population, the fifth largest in the nation, are still unable to come together to fill the constant gaps in the workforce.
While nearly 16 per cent of immigrants who headed west chose Calgary, home to 69 corporate head offices, as their destination in 2006, "many immigrants face difficulties finding adequate employment," the report said.
"It is vital that every effort is made to ensure that immigrants to Canada can quickly and successfully integrate into their new community."
Several major hurdles many recent immigrants struggle to clear not only relate to language, but most importantly finding Canadian accreditation for degrees or diplomas they earned in their homelands, said Joan Matsusaki, who helps recent immigrants obtain employment in their fields as a career coach at Directions for Immigrants in Trades and Professional Careers.
"Take engineers, for example, they’re not accredited with licensing body in Alberta, that’s one barrier, the other is language, and they also lack the job searching skills that are specific to Canada," she said.
And while Matsusaki said her clients have had some success finding work in their fields, she’s well aware there is some built-up disappointment when people are unable to resume their careers in Canada.
"They know it’s going to be difficult to find work in their field, but they’re coming here for their children and there’s definitely some frustration involved," she said.