More Needed from Canadian Employers to Integrate IEPs

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By A Correspondent

Employers need to shoulder more responsibility for welcoming new Canadians and implementing clear methods to make it easier for them to access workforce integration programs; particularly as Canada faces a growing labour shortage in science-related careers. While no less than 30 per cent of businesses indicated in 2012 that they face a lack of skilled workers, this number is double the rate seen in late 2012, according to a study released by CIBC World Markets.

“Employers must realize that they cannot properly address their skills shortages without making workforce integration programs more accessible to new Canadians,” said Silma Roddau, president of the Progress and Career Planning Institute (PCPI) in Toronto. “If not, they miss out on a whole talent pool of people and the potential to compete on both a local and global level.”

The issue of including new Canadians skills in employers’ innovation strategies was a hot topic at the 10th annual 2013 Internationally Educated Professionals Conference on April 5. The event was hosted by PCPI and is designed to help Internationally Educated Professionals (IEPs) market themselves to prospective employers.  This is the largest networking event of its kind — bringing together more than 1,400 IEPs from 100 countries to hear from industry experts and employers on strategies for integrating IEPs into the workforce.

“Canada is facing a growing deficit of workers with advanced university degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” said Roddau. “There is an overwhelming number of educated professionals ready and willing to take those jobs, but many are chronically underemployed. Employers need to take a hard look at their recruitment policies to take advantage of this pool of highly skilled professionals.”

According to a 2012 report from the Canadian Council of Chief Executive Officers, Canada’s continued economic growth and prosperity will depend on our national ability to develop the skills and talents of our people to their maximum potential. The report noted that:

  • In China, one in three newly granted university degrees are in engineering disciplines. In Canada, the comparable rate is only one in 10.

  • From 2004 to 2007, only 10  to 13 per cent of all newly granted university degrees were in the science and technology disciplines; only eight to nine per cent were in engineering-related fields.

  • The largest skill shortages were found in health-related occupations, information and communications technology, engineering and business services.

While India, China and other fast-growing Asian economies are putting a special emphasis on educating large numbers of highly qualified graduates in science-related fields, Canada lags behind. In order to address this gap, Canadian employers must recognize the value of diversity and recruitment policies necessary for the successful integration of internationally educated professionals in the workplace.

[Source: Canadian Immigrant]

JULY 2018

Vol. 12 - No. 12


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