Thursday, 16 September 2010

From The 'What Else Is New?' Files: Adult Newcomers More Likely To Be Jobless.

The Vancouver Sun reports:

The Institute for Research on Public Policy has found that, even with postsecondary education from a Canadian institution, newcomers who arrive in Canada over the age of 18 are more likely to be underemployed, or even unemployed, than both their Canadian-born peers and those who come to the country at an earlier age.

"The earlier in life immigrants arrive, the more their academic paths will resemble those of their Canadian-born counterparts, and the easier it will be for them to master one of the official languages in Canada," said Maude Boulet, one of the study's authors and an expert in industrial relations at the Universite de Montreal.

Co-author Brahim Boudarbat, a former University of B.C. labour economics professor who now teaches at UdeM, said the difference comes down largely to linguistic ability and cultural integration.

"One interesting thing that we found is that immigrants who come very young make almost the same [education] choices as those who are Canadian-born do" when it comes to fields and levels of study, Boudarbat said.

"It matches the native labour market."

There are few things we can take away from this.

The first is that it suggests that the problems that have plagued post-1990 immigrants still exist today. This means that things have not gotten better but have either stayed the same or have gotten worse. It makes it clearer that the system is not working; that we are importing too many people most of whom are ill-equipped to compete in the labour market.

Secondly it reinforces that language proficiency in either English or French is paramount when it comes to landing a suitable job in Canada. Yet, we routinely import en masse immigrants who have no command of either even in a functional sense.

Thirdly it tells us that the children of immigrants are not interested in the jobs that Canadians won't do either. They end up competing for jobs and schooling placement that are already in high demand by Canadians.

So what is the point of the immigration system exactly when we are importing labour that businesses are clearly not interested in hiring? How can Canada maintain a viable labour pool when it is introducing people into it who cannot speak either English or French? To what benefit is it to Canadians when the children of immigrants just end up competing with their children for school placements and jobs? Job vacancies will remain in "jobs Canadians don't want to do". (It should be noted that immigrants do not want to do those jobs either but are forced to do so for the sake of survival.)

Canada currently has an 8.1% national unemployment rate during a recessionary period. Previous studies have shown that immigrants who enter Canada in such an unstable economic environment tend to take longer to meet Canadians on an economic level if they do at all.

So what is the government doing about it? Well, you will be pleased to know that the province of Manitoba in partnership with the federal government announced a $15 million project, phase 2 of something called the Canadian Immigrant Integration Program, to provide "Manitoba nominees in China and the Philippines with pre-arrival settlement orientation and labour-market preparation services." Sheesh!

We don't need more immigrants especially form Asia where 60% of all of Canada's immigrants come from (making a mockery of the principle of diversity). We need less and more selective immigration. This will benefit the immigrants already here and those to come.

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