Nearly one-half of newcomers feel under-employed: Survey

Men more likely than women to say job is step down
||Last Updated: 06/27/2011

Almost one-half (49 per cent) of newcomers who have been in Canada for one year or less feel under-employed, according to a survey by RBC.

Even after six to 10 years in Canada, one-third (32 per cent) of newcomers continue to feel their job is at a lower skill level than they had, or would have had, in their country of origin.

A majority of newcomers (52 per cent) measure success based on their career, which includes having a good paying job in their field of expertise, found the survey, which interviewed 608 immigrants from Ontario and British Columbia.

Additionally, men (43 per cent) are much more likely than women (28 per cent) to believe their current job is a step down from what they had, or would have had, in their home country.

"Once newcomers get past some of the career challenges they face when they move to Canada, they make a tremendous contribution to the country's productivity and diversity," said Camon Mak, director of multicultural markets at RBC. "Canada is built on immigration — new skills and resources continue to be key drivers of our country's global success. It's important that we help newcomers get settled quickly both into their new home and their new careers.”

Despite the importance of landing a dream job, only 42 per cent of immigrants said they sought out information about career options in Canada before deciding to move. Twenty-nine per cent searched for information to determine whether there was a demand for their career experience and 24 per cent researched whether or not they would need to be recertified to meet Canadian standards.

However, while they may not have their dream job, only 12 per cent feel locked in a job that may not lead to their desired occupation, found the survey.

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