Did you know that newcomers to Canada are among the best educated in the world? A recent report by Statistics Canada shows that over half of all immigrants who arrived between 2011 and 2016 had a post-secondary degree.
- In 2021, 57.5% of the working-age population in Canada had a college or university credential – the highest share among G7 countries.
- The number of working-age people with bachelor’s degrees increased by 19.1% from 2016 to 2021.
- Recent immigrants made up nearly half of this growth. However, some immigrants’ talents still need to be utilized, as over one-quarter of all immigrants with foreign degrees were working in jobs that require, at most, a high school diploma (twice the rate for Canadian-born degree holders).
- People with credentials above the bachelor level were better able to weather the labour market shocks of the COVID-19 pandemic, partly due to working in industries more suited to remote work. They had higher employment rates and earnings in 2021 than in 2016.
While Canada holds the highest rank among G7 countries in terms of college or university credential holders, it is essential to remember that recent immigrants have untouched talents. Unlike the share of working-age apprenticeship certificate holders, which has been static or gradually declining, over half of the growth observed amongst Canadians with a bachelor’s degree or higher can be attributed to new immigrants.
Despite the potential of international talent, over a quarter of immigrants with foreign degrees work in jobs that typically require only high school diplomas. The issue is twice as prevalent for Canadian-born or educated degree holders, and highly-skilled immigrants such as healthcare professionals are significantly affected by this job mismatch. To make matters worse, these skilled workers often have to settle for employment far below their qualifications.
Canada’s share of post-secondary graduates is steadily growing; however, the disparity between Indigenous groups in attaining a bachelor’s degree or higher continues to widen. To guarantee Canada advances its leading education position internationally, we must consider these discrepancies and work towards optimizing the utilization of immigrant talent.
Why are Canadian immigrant workers are renowned for their expertise and academic excellence?
Canada has a solid and well-established post-secondary education system, with many top-ranking universities that attract talented students worldwide. Canada’s immigration policies also prioritize individuals with valuable skills and knowledge, further contributing to Canada’s high educational attainment rate.
However, despite their great potential, many immigrant talents need to be used more. Canada’s language barriers, lack of work opportunities, and other factors inhibit new immigrants from fully utilizing their skills and knowledge. As a result, Canada needs to do more to support these individuals and help them reach their full potential in the business world.
How can Canada better utilize immigrant talents?
There are several steps that Canada can take to utilize immigrant talents better and support ambitious new arrivals. These include improving language training programs, increasing work opportunities, and providing targeted career counselling. To maintain Canada’s position as a global leader in education standards, Canada must continue to invest in the success of its many talented immigrants.
The persistent issue of securing accreditation for foreign education remains
In Canada is a high rate of immigrant overqualification, which refers to immigrants holding credentials that are not recognized in Canada. One potential solution for this issue is creating a national accreditation body that can evaluate foreign-earned degrees and help facilitate their recognition in Canada. This would give immigrant workers more job opportunities and allow them to utilize their skills and knowledge in Canada better. Ultimately, by supporting immigrant talent and harnessing the unique contributions that they can make to Canada’s economy, we can maintain Canada’s position as a global leader in education standards.
Canada has long been known for its inclusive immigration policies and welcoming attitude toward newcomers. This has resulted in Canada having one of the highest rates of immigrant overqualification in the world. Securing accreditation for a foreign education remains a persistent problem, as does the need for work opportunities available to new immigrants. However, there are several steps that Canada can take to utilize immigrant talents better and support ambitious new arrivals. These include improving language training programs, increasing work opportunities, and providing targeted career counselling. By investing in the success of its many talented immigrants, Canada can maintain its position as a global leader in education standards.