The Economic Times
December 1, 2009

TORONTO: Canada, where a majority of new immigrants cannot find work in their chosen fields because of non-acceptance of their degrees, Monday announced to fast-track recognition of foreign credentials.

With the shortage of skilled professions in many professions looming, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney announced Monday that foreign credentials in 14 fields will now be assessed within a year. In the first phase, which begins Dec 31 this year, foreign qualified engineers, architects, pharmacists, physiotherapists, nurses and accountants will know by December 2010 whether their credentials meet Canadian standards, Kenney said.

In the second phase, doctors, teachers and other professionals will be included in the one-year wait period starting December 2012.

Canada gets more than 250,000 new immigrants each year from around the world. Though most of these immigrants are better qualified than Canadians, they end up in low-paid jobs because of non-recognition of their foreign credentials.

At about 35,000, Indians are the second largest immigrant group to come here each year. It is estimated that six in 10 immigrants cannot find work in their chosen profession, leading to doctors, engineers and scientists driving taxies and working in restaurants.

The immigration minister said, “We want newcomers to be able to use their skills and work to their full potential. It is good for them and good for the Canadian economy.”

Canadian Human Resources Minister Diane Finley, who was with the immigration minister at the time of Monday’s announcement, said, it was crucial that Canada attracted and retained qualified professionals for its economic future.

More than 40 percent new immigrants to Canada are estimated to be doing jobs for which they are overqualified. In fact, Toronto – Canada’s biggest city – has more qualified professionals driving cabs than any other city in the world.

Immigration experts have estimated that Canada loses more than $2 billion each year in economic terms for not using the skills of foreign qualified professionals.

Under the current exploitative, point-based immigration system, newcomers to Canada are supposed bring a minimum amount of money per person with them. Their money runs out as new immigrants search for jobs. Wherever they go, employers first ask them whether they have any Canadian work experience.

How can they have any Canadian experience when nobody offers them job? In frustration, some return to their home countries. Most resign themselves to a new life of hardship.


Reference: The Economic Times