Immigration is supposed to be a thing of joy. A time of celebration. A family leaves one country and arrives in another. They start anew. Their past becomes just that, a thing of the past, and the future in their new country of choice is whatever they choose it to be. Quite the fairy tale isn’t it? Sadly, for countless new Canadian immigrants the reality is far different.
More often than not, education and professional credentials from overseas simply don’t transfer to Canada, and as a result, many immigrants are employed in jobs far below their abilities or experience level.
There’s an old stereotype in Canadian culture, and it usually involves a taxi driver with a PhD in economics. The reality, however, isn’t as far removed from the stereotype as you might think. StatsCan releases annual reports providing a statistical breakdown of Canadian new immigrants, and it should come as no surprise that Canadian immigrants represent one of the highest educated demographics in the country. When this is combined with Canada’s Skilled Worker program, it becomes clear that the country really is getting the best and brightest from overseas. And why not? People from all over the world come to Canada to begin their lives anew, and more often than not they come here ready, willing and able to work.
But it’s when they can’t that the story turns tragic.
Sure, there’s nothing wrong with driving a taxi or working in the fast food industry. Both are jobs that can pay dividends. But for immigrants with years of experience and education, the disappointment felt is palpable when they have little choice but to work in a profession far removed from what they would have in their home countries.
Immigrants don’t come to Canada looking to scrape by just above the poverty line, nor do they come here looking forward to being told that their university degree and twenty years of work experience doesn’t transfer here.
Not all is lost, however, and there is light at the end of the tunnel. Federal Immigration Minister John McCallum said recently at a conference in Vancouver that the government is aware of these difficulties and is working on making the immigration and recertification process simpler and easier. They key to overcoming the employment barrier for new immigrants is to recertify.
Ashton College prides itself on helping new immigrants return to work in their chosen field, as well as helping students change careers. This isn’t to say that the process is easy; it isn’t. But it can and should be done. In fact, in many occasions all that is required to return to work is a test or a short term course. For those wanting something more long term, Ashton also offers extended length programs and diplomas. And what’s more, all of Ashton’s faculty are industry professionals with many years of experience. If you’re new to Canada or even just contemplating the immigration process, know that there are resources and programs and schools out there. And Ashton is one of them.