04 October 2017 0 Comments Posted By : Patrick Blennerhassett

Skilled immigrants face tough job market

When Preeti Hiro came to Canada from India in November 2014, she already had a bachelor’s degree in commerce and a master of business administration and was a published author in the field of strategic financial management. Hiro also had an impressive resumé from back home in Chandigarh, which included working as an assistant professor and as a manager of finance. However, she encountered the catch-22 many immigrants get stuck in temporarily regardless of skill level or educational background. Hiro had no Canadian experience, which was the one thing she was looking for, and the one thing employers wanted to see on her resumé.

“I didn’t get a job for about four or five months,” said Hiro. “I would send out resumé after resumé and not hear anything back at all.”

Hiro, who is now a business instructor with Simon Fraser University’s continuing studies department and based in Surrey, said the struggles she faced are common among immigrants entering Canada. Newcomers tend to be more educated than their local counterparts; 41% of recent immigrants to Surrey had a bachelor’s degree or higher compared with 18% of Canadian-born citizens of the city, according to a Surrey Local Immigration Partnership (LIP) study. The unemployment rate is also much higher for immigrants to Surrey (13%) compared with locals (8%).

Hiro said during the months she couldn’t find work, she encountered a strange response from employers.

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