by Priya Ramanujam (@SincerelyPriya) in Toronto
Only eight per cent of the jobs in Canada are advertised. An astounding 76 per cent of the jobs are hidden or created. New Canadians packed into a Metro Toronto Convention Centre conference room to gain this type of insight about the Canadian job market from human resources professional, Sujay Vardhmane.
Vardhmane’s presentation, Winning Ways – The Formula to Your Job Search Success, is just one of nine interactive speaker sessions part of a free, day-long Career, Education & Settlement Fair presented by Canadian Immigrant Magazine in partnership with Scotiabank and Centennial College. The annual fair, which also includes a trade show, resume clinic and speed mentoring sessions, is in its fourth year. Gautam Sharma, Publisher of Canadian Immigrant, says its goal is to provide real advice to newcomers. “The idea was to have a very sort of holistic opportunity for everyone to listen to,” he says.
Vardhmane’s main message during an hour-long presentation is that sitting behind a computer sending resumes all day long will rarely lead to securing a job. He gives newcomers a challenge: for six months, give yourselves points for every job-related action they take – 500 for an interview, 250 for an information meeting, 100 for making a phone call and 50 for applying for a job via the internet. If someone achieves 3,000 or more points weekly for six months he is confident they will land their ideal job.
But many of the attendees, who face barriers such as not knowing the language, not knowing anyone in Canada, and not having any Canadian work experience, may find his challenge daunting. Having immigrated to Canada in 2002 from India himself, Vardhmane can empathize with these struggles.
“[New Canadians often] develop a very negative mindset very early on that I’m a loser, I’m a victim and everyone is treating me badly,” he explains. “What you may find surprising is this, every person at every stage in life has challenges in a job search, I could be a white male who is 45, I will have some challenges in my job search, I could be a 60-year-old, I could be a 20-year-old I could be having challenges, whether I’m born here or not born here. But what tends to happen is we tend to look at it this way, I’m new in this country and I’m being penalized because of that.”
During his workshop, Vardhmane shares that he has never been hired in Canada for a job that he has applied to in the traditional way of e-mailing a resume and cover letter. Rather, the opportunities that have come his way (he is also a part-time professor at Centennial, Seneca and George Brown colleges and the University of Toronto), have been because of relationships he’s built over time and networking.
“I think listening to people and positioning myself professionally with people [is why] people were willing to help me,” he shares, reminiscing about his early days in Canada. “Consistency of behaviour is very critical for people to be comfortable to refer you.”
Networking was stressed throughout the day as the number one most important thing newcomers must do to achieve whatever success they are pursuing. Corporate trainer, career specialist and workplace coach, Colleen Clarke, emphasizes this in her workshop, Networking How To Build Relationships That Count. She says newcomers should start the process even before they set foot on Canadian soil.
“I had a client a few years ago, he’s become a huge success here. Before he came to Canada – he knew he was immigrating here – we worked together long distance,” she shares. “He came here with the names of 20 people to contact of people back in Mumbai who knew people in Toronto. So when he came to Toronto he already had 20 phone numbers from the people in Mumbai who had family or relatives here.”
Upon arriving in Canada, continue connecting with the people who you know from your day-to-day life, she adds. “Try to start with people that you know. Your bank teller, your hair dresser, the people within your own ethnic community, your children go to school, you must know some of the parents of the children.”
She closes by reminding attendees that it isn’t the first person they network with that will give them a job, but by building strong, positive relationships with several people, through the ideology of “six degrees of separation” where someone knows someone who knows someone, job referrals can and will happen.
This content was developed exclusively for New Canadian Media and can be freely re-published, with appropriate attribution, please.
by Patricia Rimok in Montreal
Immigration Business Network ib2ib applauds the findings of a recent study done by the Conference Board of Canada that clearly shows immigrant entrepreneurs advance Canada’s export agenda outside of the U.S. more than non-immigrant Canadian Small and Medium Enterprises, SME’s. This is very important given the sluggish Canada-U.S. trade since the financial crisis began in 2007 which has pushed many Canadian SME’s to venture elsewhere to export their goods and the government to redouble its efforts to pursue free-trade deals, bilateral tax treaties and foreign investment protection agreements with fast-growing economies.
So why hasn’t Canada been more successful in leveraging its diverse immigration to increase its exports outside of the U.S.?
The main reasons brought forward by the Conference Board study are that immigrant-owned businesses exporting to non-U.S. markets are less operationally efficient, more likely to compete on price than innovation and product novelty, and represent limited long-term export potential especially the ones that are in the wholesale-retail trade sector.
We need, however, to be careful with some of these observations, especially given that the immigrant-owned businesses surveyed were established in Canada for only five years and have yet to be as sufficiently familiar with Canadian legal, fiscal, legislative and financing frameworks or have had the time to develop strong local business networks that they can leverage as non-immigrant based Canadian SME’s can. In fact, these same limitations have also been the primary reasons why more than half of the immigrant entrepreneurs and investors that came through the defunct immigrant entrepreneur and investor programs have left the country after five years with their capital.
Had we also included immigrant-owned businesses established for over 10 years in the Conference Board survey as a control group to measure and compare long-term impacts in the various business sectors studied, we may not have arrived at the same observations and conclusions. For example, wholesale and retail chains like Aldo, Point Zero, Peerless, Mep and countless others are immigrant-owned success stories that exist today which started in similar conditions, and yet, have been able to grow, export, diversify, innovate and employ thousands of people.
In New Brunswick, for instance, the retail and wholesale trade sector is very important and experienced significant growth despite the fact that it is not associated to a high-growth or innovative sector. GDP associated to that sector was $2.6 Billion in 2010, up from $1.9 Billion in 2000 and projected to increase to $3.7 Billion in 2020. In 2011, out of 57,400 people associated to that sector, 53 800 were employed.
A longitudinal case study in 2009 in Spain (Peri and Requena), which measured the export-creating effects of immigrants from 1998 to 2008, was able to conclude that a rise in immigration to Spain from 1% to 10% in that period increased trade from 35% to 44% of Spanish GDP and the number of exporting firms grew from 58,000 to 100,000 over the same period. Both research economists also found that doubling the number of immigrants from a certain country in a Province led to an increase of the export values from the destination province to the country of the immigrant’s origin by around 10% thanks to their differentiated culture and goods, diaspora business and social connections which increase the diffusion of information and reduce the costs of doing business with their country of origin.
Using similar principles and closer to home, thanks to the contacts in China of a Chinese-Canadian immigrant entrepreneur and member of our network, Immigration Business Network ib2ib was able to secure for a Quebec-based clean-tech waste management company over $3 billion of financing to build 23 plants across Canada and create 1,500 permanent jobs. Wait, there is more! Now China wants the same plants built in their country and Brazil, United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) and others have expressed an interest to do the same. How is that for leveraging both Canadian imports and exports thanks to our immigration!
We need to continue this conversation with more Canadian immigrant-owned businesses that export as well as increase the connectivity and engagement of local Canadian SME’s with business immigrant and diaspora networks which bring foreign direct investment to Canada. The federal government has a great opportunity to continue improving on its more recent trade policies by incorporating them to their soon-to-be-released new immigrant entrepreneur and investor programs.
Patricia Rimok is President of the Montreal-based Immigration Business Network ib2ib Inc.
This content was developed exclusively for New Canadian Media and can be freely re-published, with appropriate attribution, please.
Applications per eligible occupation:
(by National Occupational Classification [NOC] code)
|Number of complete applications counted towards the 1,000 sub-cap|
|0013 Senior managers – financial, communications and other business services||3|
|0015 Senior managers – trade, broadcasting and other services, n.e.c.||–|
|0111 Financial managers||19|
|0112 Human resources managers||3|
|0113 Purchasing managers||3|
|0121 Insurance, real estate and financial brokerage managers||1|
|0311 Managers in health care||1|
|0711 Construction managers||2|
|0712 Home building and renovation managers||–|
|0811 Managers in natural resources production and fishing||–|
|0911 Manufacturing managers||1|
|1111 Financial auditors and accountants||17|
|1112 Financial and investment analysts||120|
|1113 Securities agents, investment dealers and brokers||–|
|1114 Other financial officers||3|
|1123 Professional occupations in advertising, marketing and public relations||4|
|1212 Supervisors, finance and insurance office workers||1|
|1224 Property administrators||–|
|2113 Geoscientists and oceanographers||2|
|2131 Civil engineers||20|
|2132 Mechanical engineers||34|
|2133 Electrical and electronics engineers||11|
|2145 Petroleum engineers||–|
|2171 Information systems analysts and consultants||28|
|2172 Database analysts and data administrators||4|
|2173 Software engineers and designers||54|
|2174 Computer programmers and interactive media developers||130|
|2232 Mechanical engineering technologists and technicians||–|
|2234 Construction estimators||1|
|2241 Electrical and electronics engineering technologists and technicians||2|
|2243 Industrial instrument technicians and mechanics||2|
|2263 Inspectors in public and environmental health and occupational health and safety||2|
|2281 Computer network technicians||23|
|3011 Nursing co-ordinators and supervisors||–|
|3012 Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses||7|
|3111 Specialist physicians||–|
|3112 General practitioners and family physicians||–|
|3132 Dietitians and nutritionists||–|
|3141 Audiologists and speech-language pathologists||1|
|3143 Occupational Therapists||1|
|3214 Respiratory therapists, clinical perfusionists and cardiopulmonary technologists||–|
|3215 Medical Radiation Technologists||–|
|3216 Medical Sonographers||–|
|3233 Licensed practical nurses||–|
|3234 Paramedical occupations||–|
|4011 University professors and lecturers||4|
|4214 Early childhood educators and assistants||–|
|5125 Translators, terminologists and interpreters||–|
Applications in the PhD stream:
Quebec immigration remains open to a wide range of applicants. In fact, immigrating to Quebec is a popular route to achieve Canadian Permanent Residency. With the goal of reducing processing times for applications, the Government of Quebec has introduced a number of changes to Quebec immigration programs in recent months. Permanent workers, investors, entrepreneurs and self-employed workers looking to apply for a Quebec Selection Certificate should take note; spots are filling up quickly. Here is an overview of where these various programs stand today:
Quebec Skilled Worker Program
As of July 4th, the Quebec Skilled Worker (QSW) program has received over 4,400 applications out of a maximum intake cap of 6,500. This means that the program’s application cap, which was put in place on April 1, 2014, is now approximately two-thirds full.
Prospective immigrants applying to the QSW program must intend to live and work in Quebec. Applicants must, at a minimum, possess a diploma that corresponds to a Secondary School Diploma or a Diploma of Vocational Studies in the Québec education system.
Points are also awarded to applicants for a number of factors, including:
- Level of education;
- Area of training;
- French and/or English language skills;
- Work experience;
- Relationships to Quebec residents;
- Ability to be financially self-sufficient; and
- An offer of employment, if applicable.
Moving Forward: Expression of Interest system
The Government of Quebec has hinted that, in 2015, it will follow the lead of the Federal Government in transitioning to an ‘Expression of Interest’ immigration system.
The Expression of Interest model is designed to better target skilled immigrants and fill identifiable gaps in the labour market. It screens applicants based on aspects such as work experience, education, and language ability. The government then invites the best-suited applicants to apply for immigration through one of its programs.
If the Government of Quebec transitions to this system next year, it will signal the end of the current QSW selection system. This means that this is the last chance for applicants to apply directly to the QSW program.
“As the program stands today, applicants have until March 31st 2015 to apply, or until the cap is filled,” said Attorney David Cohen. “It is looking more and more likely that the cap will fill well before March. This means that, for many individuals interested in immigrating through this popular program, time is absolutely of the essence.”
Quebec Investor Program
The Quebec Investor Program also has a cap, which is the same as last year. No more than 1,750 applications will be accepted for review under this program. Moreover, no more than 1,200 applicants will be accepted from any one country.
Applications to this program will only be received during a short window of time, which has yet to be determined. While the official government website maintains that the program will be accepting applications between September 8th and 19th, the Quebec 2014 budget, which was adopted in June, indicated that these dates are likely to be changed. In any case, now is the time for applicants to begin putting his or her files together.
It is important to note that there is no cap for investors who are able to communicate in French at a high-intermediate level or higher. This means they can apply between now and March 31st 2015 regardless of how many other applications are received.
To qualify for the Quebec Investor category, investors must intend to reside in Quebec. They must also have a net worth of at least C$1.6 million and have a minimum of two years experience in management during the last five years. Lastly, investors have to agree to invest at least C$800,000 through a government approved financial intermediary.
Entrepreneurs and Self-Employed Workers
Like the QSW program, the Entrepreneur and Self-Employed Worker programs are quickly filling up. Over 300 applications have been accepted for review out of a maximum of 500 for the two programs combined.
To be eligible for the Entrepreneur program, among other things, an applicant must have net assets of at least C$300,000, and have a minimum of two years’ experience in the last five years running a lawful, profitable, business.
The eligibility requirements for the Self-Employed Worker program include having a net worth of C$100,000, and having at least two years of experience as a self-employed worker in the field the individual plans to practice in Québec.
Quebec Experience Class
Another option for immigration to Quebec is the Quebec Experience Class, which has no cap. This program is open to temporary workers who have held a skilled job in Quebec for 12 out of the last 24 months as well as graduates of Quebec universities or those nearing graduation. This program also requires knowledge of French.