Toronto Star
January 29, 2010

Nicholas Keung

Only 30 per cent of skilled immigrants feel their jobs are commensurate to their qualifications and fewer than one-quarter believe they can achieve their career goals in Canada, a study finds.

Two-thirds of skilled immigrants also say they have been asked to get further education in Canada to obtain professional jobs here, said the report, funded by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, to be released Friday.

One comfort newcomers can take away from the study: slightly more than half have found work somewhat related to their field. But 75 per cent of respondents said that they were too old to return to school and could not afford additional education.

“The imperative of sending money `back home’ and the necessity to hold down two jobs to accomplish this, precludes schooling,” the report notes.

“This is a vicious circle since obtaining the required schooling could permit them to earn more in less time.”

The research findings will form the backdrop of a conference for internationally educated professionals Friday in Toronto, which aims to connect skilled immigrants with employers, professional regulators and policy-makers.

“We have one roomful of skilled immigrants from 80 different countries represented at the conference. If you can imagine doing business with these 80 countries, how much of an advantage we would have?” asked event chair Silma Roddau.

Almost 1,600 internationally trained immigrants have enrolled in the free one-day conference, funded by the immigration department. Workshops include exploring other career options, honing presentation skills, and labour market trends.

Reference: Toronto Star