BRAMPTON, ON. (Feb. 4, 2010) – In a report released to Regional Council, The Peel Immigration Labour Market Survey is the first study ever conducted that provides local data on the labour market in Peel, and more specifically, how immigrants are faring in finding employment. The short answer: not as well as Canadian-born job seekers.
“This study is one of three key immigration initiatives led by the Region’s Human Services department in Peel,” said Janet Menard, Commissioner of Human Services. “The study findings reveal that there is a significant gap in skill utilization, income and credential recognition of immigrants in the workplace. The Region has been working with community partners and local employers in Peel and is working to help bridge the divide between unemployment and putting those skills to use in the labour market.”
“The recommendations gathered from the report will help guide our strategies with the provincial and municipal governments, community organizations and businesses,” said Regional Councillor Patricia Mullin, Chair of the Human Services Committee. “We are working with key policy and decision-makers and employers to help address critical gaps in accessing the job market. We are also working to determine which services and best practices can be used to ensure greater equality in the labour market in Peel.”
Lack of recognition of international education and experience appeared as an important barrier to employment and a significant contributor to labour market success. And despite having their education and experience assessed prior to immigration, skilled worker principal applicants are not more likely to be employed, are not earning more income nor are they able to find employment in jobs that utilize their skills.
In the sample of 1,425 immigrants and Canadian-born Peel residents surveyed:
- Of the immigrant respondents who have international work experience, only about one-third were successful in obtaining their desired employment.
- Lack of Canadian work experience was reported as the barrier faced most often for immigrants and correspondingly, lack of work experience was reported most often by Canadian-born individuals.
- Networking was a serious barrier for both immigrants and Canadian-born individuals but more significant for immigrants.
- One in four immigrants accessed some government-funded employment services, and just under one-third obtained more education and credentials in Canada.
- Both immigrants and Canadian-born individuals report underutilization of their skills in their current job. Recent immigrant respondents are less likely to utilize their skills at work, but skill utilization improves with length of time in Canada, and through full recognition of credentials by employers.
Funded by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, the study was done in collaboration with Ryerson’s Diversity Institute in Management and Technology. The final report was prepared by PinPoint Research. The complete report of survey findings will be available to the public to download on Feb. 22, 2010 at www.peelregion.ca/labourmarketsurvey.
The Human Services Department supports full participation by all residents in the economic, social and cultural life of the Region by providing a continuum of supports for vulnerable or at-risk members of the community. The department works collaboratively with other community partners including local businesses and service providers in Peel to improve the opportunities and quality of life for children, families and individuals living in Brampton, Caledon and Mississauga.
The Regional Municipality of Peel was incorporated in 1974 on the principle that certain community and infrastructure services are most cost-effectively administered over a larger geographic area. The Region of Peel serves more than one million residents in the Cities of Mississauga and Brampton and the Town of Caledon. For more information on the Region of Peel, please call 905-791-7800, or visit www.peelregion.ca.