Workplace Barriers. Identifying and Meeting Challenges Through Training Enhancements. Aurelia Tokaci Manager, Employment Services

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1 Workplace Barriers Identifying and Meeting Challenges Through Training Enhancements Aurelia Tokaci Manager, Employment Services CIC Conference, 2008

2 Presentation Overview 1. Issues & Barriers 1. General 2. Employers 3. Newcomers 2. Addressing Challenges 3. Training Solutions 4. Questions & Answers

3 Immigrants in Canadian Society The need for skilled immigrants is essential in Canada s competitive participation in the global economy. The current Immigration Policy is based on demographic realities: Aging population Aging workforce Canada is competing to recruit the best and the brightest By the year 2011 it is estimated that 100% of Canada s net labour force will depend on immigration Close to 250,000 immigrants from 180 countries settle every year in Canada. Close to 60% of all skilled immigrants to Canada settled in Ontario Close to 70% of immigrant skilled workers have a university degree compared with just 14% of all Canadians

4 The Big Disconnect Canadian immigration favors those with higher education and skills. Yet many educated and skilled immigrants have difficulty finding work. The unemployment rate of immigrant professionals is 18.2% compared to the 5.4% Ontario average. 60% of foreign trained immigrants who took jobs unrelated to their training when they first came to Canada held the same job three years later. Less than one-quarter of foreign trained professionals who were employed were working in their exact field, and 47% were doing something irrelevant to their field. The facts are in! Newcomers experiences in accessing regulated professions in Ontario - MTCU, 2000

5 Employment-related Issues & Barriers Cultural (newcomer and receiving society) Attitudes (newcomer and receiving society): Bias, Prejudice, Racism The Provision of Services and Information Service Providers: level of understanding Regulatory Bodies HR Practitioners, Employers

6 Employment-related Issues & Barriers Higher/Lower Standards?? Licensing/Accreditation The process itself Lack of Information Lack of resources Canadian Experience?? The Myth Cultural Differences Hiring Practices: Risk Management

7 Employment-related Issues & Barriers Education Gaps Familiarity with Canadian business practices Understanding of licensing and accreditation process Understanding of Entry to Practice requirements Sense of loss with respect to their professional identity Business and social networks and related supports Language Skills General Skills Sector-specific Self-Marketing Skills Resume, Cover Letter, Interview, Job Search, Networking

8 Immigration Statistics 2004 Immigration Levels

9 Labour Force Composition Immigrant Non-Immigrant 100% 75% 50% 46.7% 25% 0% All Industries Accommodations Automotive Business Services Communications SOURCE: Toronto Labour Force Readiness Plan, July 2003 Education Electronics Financial Services & Real Estate Food & Beverage Services Food Industries Health Services Trade Contracting

10 A Bit of Research If inequalities (earnings, occupation, hours of work) were completely eliminated, an additional $64.5 billion could be expected to be added to Canada's GDP by (Harvey, 2001)

11 Bringing Employers Into The Immigration Debate A study by Environics, commissioned by the Public Policy Forum (Nov. 2004) Survey of 2,091 employers 10 focus groups with employers in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver & Moncton Conclusions: Overlook immigrants in HR Planning Do not hire immigrants at the level of their training Face challenges integrating new immigrants into the workforce

12 The Employer s Perspective Credentials (82% of employers cannot name a centre) Language related to job-specific terms and general language training Knowledge of Canadian business practices Job skills/equivalence (harder to assess) Team work (harder to integrate) Overqualified Cultural differences Acceptance of diversity Bringing Employers into the Immigration Debate - The Public Policy Forum, Nov (Environics)

13 Bringing Employers Into The Immigration Debate Recommendations: Employers to be informed and engaged in discussions about selection and levels Employers should be engaged in the development of regional strategies Employers should be encouraged to develop strategies to hire immigrants more effectively Address hiring practices that may discriminate against immigrants Promote existing credential recognition services and develop new services or procedures Improve language training Promote and create tools to encourage cultural understanding Provide Canadian work experience for immigrants (small and medium size companies)

14 The Business Case for Diversity A diverse workforce will help companies to understand and respond to the needs and aspiration of increasingly diverse customers. Workforce Diversity - at all levels - is essential for translating customer s needs into products and services which can be efficiently, effectively and profitably marketed In 2001 visible minorities accounted for 48% of the consumer market in Toronto, 30% in Vancouver, 24% in Hamilton, and 20%

15 What Is Needed? Assistance to Newcomers Settlement & Integration Services Cultural Transition Hiring processes Skills assessment Education Assessment and/or Licensing Transferable Skills Focus the search Source jobs: direct marketing, placements, mentoring, networking, etc. Assistance to Employers Sourcing/Screening candidates Information/Referral (regulated/non-regulated occupations, credentials, licensing, diversity strategy) Prepare the workplace (cultural competencies) Assistance to Community Public Awareness, Education, Information, Resources

16 A Shift Of Thinking Settlement & Integration of Newcomers is a Complex Responsibility All levels of Government Multiple Stakeholders: newcomers, government, employers, regulators, education institutions, service providers, communities The future prosperity of our communities is correlated with the successful integration of newcomers: social, economic, cultural, political

17 A Shift of Thinking Helping Individuals Through the System AND Changing the System

18 Bridging Programs & ELT Assessments: Education Language Employability Develop Career Pathway Short-Term/Long-Term Identify Gaps: education, skills, experience, language (communications, sector-specific) Regulated Profession: licensing/registration/certification requirements and process identify requirements Bridge Skill Gaps: client-centered approach Identify Alternative Employment and Entry to Practice Implement Career Plan: just for me programs Workplace Exposure: placement, mentoring, job shadow, etc. Meaningful Employment

19 What Is Required? Understanding of issues and barriers from different perspectives: Newcomer Employer Regulatory Bodies Education Institutions Ability to: Develop trustful partnerships with the 4 Groups: N; E; R; E Develop just for me programs: modularization Accommodate a variety of schedules Develop multiple exits from the program Provide additional incentives : certificates, diplomas Connect participants with employment opportunities in their field Create trust with business community

20 Not Qualified Assessments: Language CMT CAPE System Employability Education Experience Qualified Information Sessions: OACETT PEO Decide Career Path IAP 1 Program Outcomes 150 Access at least one Core Service 120 Complete the Individual Action Plan (IAP) 60 Advance measurably toward certification /registration (Meet Conditional Acceptance) 10 Obtain certification/registration 80 Obtain employment in their field Referral to Other Service (Follow-up) PEO OACETT Employment in Field Core Other Meets All Ed. & Skills Req. Core Discount Fees 6 mo. Skill Enhancement 2 Sector Terminology Business Comm. Computer Skills Codes & Standards Health & Safety Leadership Cert. (B.Tech. Prog. Fee-based) Meets Req., Needs to Core Education & Skill Requirements (PEO, OACETT, ICAS) IAP 2 Upgrade Some Skills Skill Enhancement 1 Engineering in Canada Engineering Job Search Workplace Culture Individual Coaching Does Not Meet Ed. Req. Meets Some Ed. Req. Meets Ed. Req., Needs to Upgrade Some Skills Alternative Employment Individual Program assigned by PEO or OACETT Core Needs Workplace Exposure Experience Requirements Meets All Ed. & Skills Req. Core Core Employable Internship Co-op, Placement Employment Mentoring PPE Technology Report Professional Licensing Exam. Employment License or Certification

21 Bridging Between Employer and Newcomer Employers Finding the right person for the job Retaining good employees HR Consulting & Training Licensing and Accreditation Job Ads/Postings Recruitment Pre-screening & Interviewing Reference Checks Training and Orientation Program Workplace Integration Newcomers Securing employment in their occupational field Keeping the job Labour Market Information Licensing & Accreditation Entry to Practice/Alternative Employment Transferability of Skills Education, Training & Upgrading Portfolio Building Job Search Strategies Job Maintenance Skills Workplace Culture

22 Employment Services A Two-Way Process Employers Recruitment Hiring Retention Newcomers Career Pathways Securing Employment Keeping the job

23 Opportunities & Benefits An investment in the future workforce at a time when the shortage of required skills is expected to increase Stimulates the provincial economy when internationally trained professionals are gainfully employed and able to fully use their skills and training in the workplace Contributes to ensuring that in the future, Ontario has a vibrant, knowledge-based economy Strengthens communities at the local level so that Ontario s communities continue to be magnets for investment and opportunity

24 Best Practices from Hamilton Bridging Programs: Med. Lab.; Nursing; Engineering Newly Approved: Accounting, Banking and Finance; Generic: professions and trades ELT IEN Demonstration Project Newcomer Mentoring Program Workplace Development Toolkit/Global Partnership: Mohawk College, SISO, McMaster University, Regulatory Bodies, Employers/Chamber of Commerce

25 Working with IEPTs Settlement Services: Generic, SWIS, Library Health Services Language Assessment Centre HOST & HOST Youth Cultural Interpretation & Translation Services RAP Employment: JSW Career Development Job Development ELT Bridging Resource Centre Licensing/Accreditation Workplace Culture

26 Working with the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce Membership and active involvement with various Committees, through regular presentations and continuous feedback: Business Development Human Resources Community Development Provide input into Policy Recommendations: Eliminating Barriers to Internationally-Trained Professionals and Tradespeople Certification of Professionals and Trades An Enhanced Provincial Nominee Program Literacy

27 Working with Education Sector and Regulatory Bodies Education Sector Joint Planning Committees: SISO/Mohawk College and Education Sector Planning Committee Partnership with a variety of departments at Mohawk College Partnership with a variety of departments at McMaster University Regulatory Bodies PEO, OACETT, CMA, CGA, Ontario College of Teachers

28 Public Awareness Print, Radio and Web Site All Marketing Material is developed around a consistent Branding Strategy: Employing New Canadians is simply good business! Hire Skills, Motivation, Competence Annual Employer Recognition Day: provide public recognition to local companies who work with SISO

29 Support Services to Employers Lunch & Learn Sessions: Quarterly sessions, 1.5 hours-length Provide information regarding availability of skills Provide tools to recruit, hire and integrate diversity Provide networking opportunities to employers Recruitment and Selection: Shortlist best candidates On-site Interviews On-site Mini Job Fairs (3 hour length, 10 employers, 200 job seekers) Training & Consulting: Workplace Diversity Bias-free Hiring Retention: Maple Leaf Foods

30 Support Services to Employers Global Training and Free HR Consulting related to: Recruitment and Selection Hiring Integration

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34 Other Initiatives Community Development Committee at the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce: New Standing Committee: 2005 Encourage Social Responsibility of local companies Liaise between business and voluntary sector Engage business community in solutions to address the issues of poverty, access, inclusion and diversity The Hamilton Centre for Civic Inclusion: Address the need for policy and systemic change By-monthly Business Forums

35 Questions & Answers

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