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Thursday, March 01, 2007

Skilled immigrant worker barriers studied under new Conservative plan

In a press release from Minister Monte Solberg, it appears that after a public kick in the ass from the NDP, the Conservative government of Stephen Harper is finally going to loosen the purse-strings and put some money behind the issues faced by skilled worker immigrants in Canada.

What caught my attention here was what they are spending the money on: "The project (entitled: "Bridging the Gap: Integration of Skilled Immigrants into the Canadian Workplace") will be led by the University of Ottawa and will work with small and medium-sized enterprises (SME's), skilled immigrant employees and human resources professionals to develop and test learning modules for understanding the barriers to integration into Canada's workplaces, and then implement strategies to overcome them."

So they are funding a university study, with small and medium sized businesses (typically exempt from Federal employment laws if they employ under 100 individuals), to develop and test "learning modules" (read: government pamplets).

Come on Monte - the barriers skilled workers face are clear. You don't need to spend $2 million to see them.

There is no consistent path for the acceptance of foreign training or professional credentials; there are many protectionist professional societies restricting job access to immgrants; without a point of entry, it is nearly impossible to gain often required "Canadian experience."

You don't need to be a University of Ottawa professor to figure it out.

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