Banning employers from asking for Canadian work experience won’t affect change without additional systems in place.
Ontario’s provincial government is planning to ban employers from requiring Canadian work experience when hiring.
Canada’s current system for immigration operates on a point system. Those seeking entry to Canada must score up to 100 points based on several factors, including age, education, and work experience. Individuals with more education and work experience have a greater chance of being approved to immigrate, yet often these people run into trouble finding employment they’re qualified for once they arrive.
Disallowing Ontario employers from asking for Canadian work experience would theoretically help Canadian immigrants find jobs that better honour their international training and experience. Yet, resumes—requested in most applications—will relay whether applicants have experience working in Canada and make it easy for employers to circumvent the ban.
For its new legislation to result in more equitable hiring, the provincial government will have to ensure it’s supported with additional systems and training. Professionals in certain fields should have Canadian training. For example, Canadian psychologists must follow, and should therefore be familiar with, the Canadian Psychological Association’s (CPA) guidelines.
To practice medicine in Canada, doctors must pass the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination (MCCQE). This exam could be used as a benchmark for the readiness of internationally trained doctors as well. Establishing similar industry-specific benchmarks across fields will ensure domestic—and internationally—trained employees are properly equipped to work in Canada.
Blind hiring processes, wherein candidates’ demographic information is concealed from employers, would equally promote equitable hiring. Blind hiring bypasses employers’ gender and racial biases and could also help avoid preferential hiring for domestic employees by listing training and work experience instead of their locations.
The Canadian population grew by a record-breaking 1 million people in 2022. Under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Canada granted permanent residency to 465,000 people in 2023 and hopes to increase that number to 500,000 in 2025. This push for mass migration is inconsistent with Canada’s ongoing housing crisis and the partial attribution of it to increased rates of immigration.
Chasing population growth without having addressed the housing crisis is worrying, as is the disappearance of careers that don’t require extensive training and could provide employment to immigrant workers whose international qualifications aren’t recognized by Canadian employers.
In matters of housing and employment alike, Canada should be certain of having the infrastructure to support immigrants before encouraging their migration.
—Journal Editorial Board
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