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Canada's economy faces 'mismatch' between employers and newcomers



Canada's economy is experiencing a significant mismatch between employers and newcomers, according to Susan Black, president and CEO of the Conference Board of Canada. In a recent interview, Black highlighted a growing concern: while small and medium-sized businesses account for 90 percent of paid labor in Canada, these companies struggle to find the skilled workers they need to grow.


Black pointed out that many immigrants, despite having high qualifications, are ending up in jobs that do not match their skill levels. This skills gap poses a challenge for both employers and newcomers. "We have this mismatch, and we need employers and newcomers to work together to figure out how to close that gap," Black emphasized.


One major issue is that small and medium-sized businesses often lack the resources to properly assess the skills of newcomers. Additionally, many employers prioritize Canadian work experience, creating an additional barrier for immigrants. Black criticized this requirement, noting, "There's no common definition for Canadian experience, and there's absolutely no evidence that Canadian experience gets people to be better workers for you."


The skills gap and barriers faced by newcomers are not only limiting individual potential but also hindering the growth of Canadian businesses. Addressing this mismatch requires a collaborative effort between employers and newcomers. Solutions could include better recognition of foreign credentials, tailored training programs, and creating more inclusive hiring practices that focus on skills rather than specific work experience.


As Canada continues to welcome a large number of immigrants, it is crucial to bridge this gap to ensure that both the economy and the newcomers can thrive. By working together, businesses and immigrants can help create a more dynamic and inclusive labor market.


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