Overcoming Barriers for Skilled Immigrants in Canada: Solutions for Employment

With increasing globalization, more people are moving across borders and between countries than ever before. Immigrants often come to Canada to create better lives for themselves and take advantage of the opportunities available. Yet for skilled immigrants, this is often an idealistic goal, since many barriers to employment prevent these individuals from working in their professional fields. Through a mixed methods approach encompassing case studies from literature, original survey data,
and insights drawn from interviews and discussions, this blog investigates the different barriers to employment for immigrants and provides suggestions for overcoming these obstacles.

Challenges Faced by Canadian Employers in Validating Skilled Immigrant Workers

This is also an issue for Canadian employers as they do not have the proper tools to validate or certify a skilled immigrant worker and their abilities especially if the immigrants lack Canadian work experience in the desired field which unfortunately is mostly the case. The culture of the company and the community is also very important as immigrants must learn and adapt to the new culture, learn traditions and the common language to fit right into the community.

Most immigrants will initially accept any job they can find, eager to begin earning a living and supporting their families. Yet many arrive possessing qualifications including education and professional training or certifications with hopes of reestablishing themselves at a higher-skill level in their chosen profession.

Barriers to Employment and Credential Transfer for Immigrants in Canada

Barriers to employment and credential transfer at systemic and individual levels can make this mpossible and relegate these hopeful professionals to low-skill positions, where they lose any prospect of career advancement and are unable to contribute their skills and knowledge to Canada’s economy.

The most significant barriers are lack of English language skills, inability to have credentials (such as education and professional training) recognized and transferred, and confusion surrounding Canadian job market standards and the cultural elements of networking and the job application process. Add stress and the pressure of a new environment to the mix and you get a very difficult start for the immigrants.

Solutions for Overcoming Obstacles for Immigrant Employment in Skilled Positions

The most impactful resolutions are the implementation of training programs in areas such as English language and retraining for specific professions, as well as support in navigating the job search and application process, streamlining the credential evaluation process, and working with employers directly to establish programs tailored to their specific labor needs.

By reducing or eliminating obstacles that hinder immigrants seeking employment in skilled positions needed labor can be provided to combat an employment crisis which benefits both sides, immigrants as they find a suitable job faster and Canadian employers which will have the desired employees who are trained and prepared for the job.

To summarize so far, we can say that certifications and training programs are an obligation for an immigrant if they seek a suitable position in the Canadian construction market. Certification for passing the necessary training programs to be an effective communicator and to be able to prove credentials.

Social network for immigrants helps them communicate with each other more frequently and effectively, find job opportunities and help out through their employment process and in general assist the settling-in process properly.

Employer Matching is also an important part of the mentioned ecosystem where immigrants are being empowered at the same time as the employers as organizations can advertise their job offers to find the best skilled immigrant that matches their expectations.

Learning to overcome weaknesses and developing strengths using Adaptive Learning is also very helpful for every learner as each individual should be trained based on their capabilities, not like a “one size fits all”.

Certification for immigrants

Career development and employment mentoring and guidance programs can be a significant factors in the success of immigrants seeking jobs. Those who bring credentials and experience from their country of origin, face additional challenges in regaining status in their profession, since having credentials recognized is difficult and often confusing. Foreign professionals can take years to figure out how to navigate the system, and often do not meet their career goals. Previous research has found that immigrants who do not receive accreditation and find a job in their field within 5-6 years most likely never will.

Employer matching

Immigrants encounter a range of challenges associated with isolation and a lack of networks through which they may be made aware of job openings. They may be unfamiliar with Canadian job search techniques. These include knowledge of the professional pathways to jobs for which they may be qualified, as well as nuances in how to communicate appropriately with potential employers and how to promote themselves as the best candidate for a position. Canadian employers also require confidence when employing a new employee as a new addition to their organization.

Immigrant Social Network

Immigrants suffer hugely from being isolated and not knowing anyone and the social network for immigrants resolves this issue completely. Immigrants can communicate and increase their knowledge to fit in better and get settled quicker by using a networking tool.

Adaptive Learning

No two persons are alike, especially when considering the professional workplace. So why should the learning process and the educational content be the same for everyone, like old-school systems? Courses and training programs must be completely customized based on the individual who is getting trained and prepared for the best possible outcome.


One billion people, one-seventh of the world’s population, are immigrants. Despite these barriers, immigrants will continue to play an essential role in our communities and our economy. Many immigrants have suffered a lot in this process. Imagine if necessary aid would be provided to the immigrants which would help anyone trying to build a new career or life in a new environment overcome their difficulties.

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