Mississauga. com
February 5, 2010

Radhika Panjwani


Job woes. The first ever Peel Immigration Labour Market Survey, presented to Regional Council on Thursday, found that a great deal of immigrant talent is going to waste in Peel.  

Photo by Rob Beintema


A first-ever study of the immigrant labour market in Peel shows the region has the largest pool of foreign-trained professionals in the GTA and one of the highest unemployment rates.

The Peel Immigration Labour Market Survey, presented to Regional Council on Thursday, found that a great deal of talent is going to waste in Peel. Furthermore, the study revealed income level, career opportunities and credentials recognition for immigrants in the Canadian workplace differ significantly from that of their Canadian-born counterparts.

Similar studies have been conducted provincially and nationally, but the Peel-specific data will allow the Region to fine-tune its programs and policies to address the gaps, said Laureen Rennie, the Region’s project manager.

“We’ve heard from 1,400 residents and they told us what didn’t work for them and they told us how they would like us to serve them,” said Rennie. “The first audience who can run with all this information is the service providers. They’re the ones who design and develop programming. At the Region, we have our own employment services. I guarantee you this (report) will be used to inform, design and develop programming going forward.”

Some 1,400 survey participants – both immigrants and Canadian-born – were asked about their experiences searching for work and their work experiences (both in Canada and abroad), said Dr. Michelle Goldberg, adjunct professor, University of Toronto, who, along with Dr. Wendy Cukier, associate dean, Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University, presented the report to Regional councillors.

“This is the first time something has been done where you can actually get down to the local neighbourhood level,” said Goldberg. “The federal government is recognizing this because they’re going into local immigration partnerships with the municipalities and you need data to be able to do that.”

Other findings show:

  • Canadian-born respondents are more likely than immigrants to have a mentor
  • lack of Canadian experience is the biggest barrier facing newcomers
  • one in four immigrants accessed government-funded employment services, but nearly half of those who did so weren’t able to get the help they needed.

The study suggests community groups in Peel should provide customized solutions for immigrants seeking jobs as opposed to a one-size-fits-all approach, and develop courses and workshops suited to the employment needs of highly educated immigrants including offering them networking opportunities. Also, employers should be involved in course design and program development.


Reference: Mississauga. com