When internationally trained newcomers can get Canadian work experience in their field, they are better positioned to be able to find good jobs, join the middle class, and contribute to our growing economy.
The Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, announced a new pilot project that will develop mentorship initiatives to help highly skilled newcomers successfully find jobs that match their skills and training.
The Government of Canada is investing close to $490,000 over the next two years in the Canadian Work Experience Initiative Evaluation: Mentoring project. With this investment, the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council will create mentorships for newcomers. In studying the effectiveness of these mentorships, the Council will identify barriers that prevent highly skilled newcomers from obtaining Canadian work experience, conduct a comparative analysis, and establish a model to scale mentoring on a national level.
This project aims to help break down barriers to employment for highly skilled newcomers and support them as they put their skills to work in communities across Canada.
- On average, and compared to their Canadian counterparts, immigrants have lower rates of labour force participation, and significantly higher unemployment rates.
- In 2016, the unemployment rate for recent immigrants between 25 and 54 years old was nearly 11 percent, while Canadian-born people in the same age group only had an unemployment rate of just over 5 percent.  Statistics Canada Report.
- According to a Statistics Canada report, only 24 percent of foreign-educated immigrants were working in an occupation corresponding to their field of study, compared to 62 percent of Canadian-born individuals.  Immigrants working in regulated occupations, (Zietsma, February 2010).
- Budget 2017 announced the targeted employment strategy for newcomers to help newcomers get their credentials recognized more quickly so they can find jobs that suit their skills and experience.
The strategy has three components:
- pre-arrival services,
- a loans program and
- 3) a pilot to help newcomers obtain Canadian work experience in their field of study. The funding for the aforementioned project is provided through this third component.