The Canadian immigration system wants to address labor shortages and fill up the gaps in regional markets. However, it seems that the existing system cannot satiate the demand for essential workers, especially in the aftermath of the pandemic. The Canadian immigration pathways catering to international workers in skilled occupations can sometimes exclude the jobs that are actually in demand. Moreover, certain regulated industries have a difficult immigration process that prevents qualified workers from working in the field of their training.
In a recent study, the Conference Board of Canada offered suggestions as to how Canada can make changes to its policy to improve the overall situation of the Canadian labor market. Titled, Valued Workers, Valuable Work: The Current and Future Role of (Im)migrant Talent, the study is written by Dr. Yilmaz Dinc who also addresses underemployment problems faced by Canada immigrants.
The study makes some important recommendations, and you can check it out if you are interested. To summarize, the study suggests that Canada introduce permanent residency pathways for essential workers, encourage collaboration between employers and governments, offer credential recognition, analyze work permit data and create more career mobility pathways.
The Canadian workforce heavily relies on immigrants, especially in certain sectors such as food manufacturing, nursing and residential care facilities and truck transportation. Essential occupations are often ignored by Canadian-born workers since they offer inadequate compensations and are generally undervalued. Newcomers, on the other hand, take on these jobs to facilitate their stay in Canada. One of the main issues is that some Canada immigrants are overqualified for essential jobs, which means that their career trajectory and earning potential are harmed by this diversion.