With the rapidly aging demographics facing the country, Canada must now more than ever focus on improving immigrant integration – particularly when it comes to skilled workers, say experts in both the private and public sectors.
According to the latest data from Statistics Canada, by 2031 one in three workers in the country will be foreign-born, up from the 2006 figure of one in five.
Though recent government initiatives have resulted in training and employment placement programs for newcomers across the county, there are still lacking sufficient post-hiring integration programs for both workers and employers.
“While one challenge is to make the right connections between talent and companies, the other is to integrate them into the workplace quickly, and a lot of employers don’t think about how those differences play into the workplace,” said Joan Atlin, who is program director at TRIEC, a non-profit group who works with private and public organizations to help address diversity issues.
TRIEC helps employers to incorporate policies that encourage the hiring and growth of new arrivals, including workshops, mentoring partnerships and training employers on “behavioural-based” interview techniques which help eliminate cultural misunderstandings.
Not only will such policies strengthen a company’s workforce, but it will also allow it to adapt to its clientele, which is increasingly becoming more foreign-born.
“Open your doors to internationally trained professionals,” Aileen Raquel advises employers, after she herself spent several years in Canada looking for work in her trained area of expertise. “We know your client’s culture and speak their language. That’s our advantage.”
Source: Globe and Mail