Skilled newcomers face ‘huge’ hurdles trying to find jobs, says government report

The Conservative government says recognition of foreign credentials for new immigrants is a top priority, but skilled newcomers say they face other obstacles to getting hired in their fields.

OTTAWA — The Conservative government says recognition of foreign credentials for new immigrants is a top priority, but skilled newcomers say they face other obstacles to getting hired in their fields.

In a federally commissioned report by Environics Research, newcomers in 12 focus groups across the country say they face substantial hurdles in finding work, regardless of foreign credential recognition.

Language barriers, they say, are a big problem for those born in countries where English is rarely spoken.

The participants — including doctors and engineers — also say the requirement for Canadian experience on some job postings is a thinly veiled way for employers to favour the Canadian-born.

The participants didn’t feel that the issue of credential recognition is a major barrier to employment.

A spokesman for Employment Minister Jason Kenney says the government commissioned the study to determine why skilled immigrants have trouble finding work and adds that the Tories plan to unveil initiatives this fall to address the problems.

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