The Maytree Foundation has recently set up a project named Assisting Local Leaders with Immigrants Employment Strategies (ALLIES). ALLIES objective is to create strategies that connect small business owners with skilled immigrant workers in Canada.
Canada welcomes approximately 250,000 immigrants each year; 30% of foreigners that settle in large Canadian cities have a bachelor degree. However, only one in four of them find jobs relevant to their education and work experiences.
In Canada, SME’s are responsible for hiring 64% of private sector workers. SME’s often lack the resources necessary for recruiting immigrants. Additionally, employing immigrants is often perceived as being much riskier than hiring Canadian citizens due to the discrepancies in cultures, values and experiences.
Although there are some risks associated in hiring new immigrants many SME’s have begun to appreciate the benefits associated to this practice. Immigrants can greatly facilitate a business’ international expansion with the help of their overseas connections and language abilities.
Canadian employers frequently do not hire new immigrants; they are often discouraged because of the risks involved. However, online resources have greatly facilitated recruiting for business owners as it makes international reference checking much simpler. Furthermore, it does not always occur to immigrants to apply to smaller companies. Newcomers tend to apply to large corporations that they were already familiar with in their home country.
Canadian companies, specifically SME’s tend to hire employees that are knowledgeable in terms of Canadian regulations and standards in order to reduce training efforts. These types of hiring practices greatly hinder the employment of immigrants. Therefore, the Maytree Foundation is trying to enable immigrants to gain relevant work experience in Canada through internships and apprenticeships.
More information on the Globe and Mail website