One-half of employers don’t have policies welcoming new Canadians: Survey

IEPs, employers disagree on effectiveness of diversity programs
||Last Updated: 02/17/2012

Less than one-half (49 per cent) of internationally educated professionals (IEPs) work in companies that have policies welcoming new Canadians, according to a recent study by the Progress Career Planning Institute (PCPI).

"While employers recognize the value of hiring new Canadians in our global economy, we're finding workplace diversity and recruitment policies lack the bite needed to really make a difference," said Silma Roddau, president of PCPI. "IEPs recognize they are responsible for learning about the Canadian workplace, but employers also need to do more to welcome new Canadians and workers from different cultures."

The study, PROGRESS: IEPs' Experience Matters, focuses on the experience of mid-career IEPs, or those with six to 15 years experience in the workplace. A total of 560 IEPs were surveyed, of which 238 are employed and 322 unemployed. And 24 Toronto region employers in were also surveyed. The study found that IEPs and employers have different views on how well diversity programs are working:

•Thirty-four per cent of working IEPs said their employers do not have the resources to address workplace cultural and new Canadian issues.

•Seventy-one per cent of employers said their diversity programs have been successful or very successful.

•Forty-five per cent of employers have a method of assessing credentials, including interviews, testing, World Education Services (WES) demonstration of skills, and background and reference checks.

The more regulated the industry the more likely IEPs were to find work, found the study. For example, credentialed health-care workers were twice as likely to find work in their fields compared to workers with business, finance and administration backgrounds.

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