Attracting the immigrant workforce
Published On Tue, 15 May 2012
In Canada, a country built on the determination of foreign workers, we are all immigrants-or so the adage goes.
As the number of highly skilled foreign workers skyrockets – 250,000 immigrants enter the country annually – connecting the dots between ready and able employees and burgeoning small businesses is increasingly important.
Statistics Canada predicts that by 2031, 80% of Canada’s population growth will come from immigration.
In Toronto, 20 per cent of the workforce is made of immigrants.
Peter Paul, project leader of ALLIES (Assisting Local Leaders with Immigrant Employment Strategies), says skilled foreign workers present an opportunity for small to medium enterprises (SMEs).
“In general, the skilled immigrant cohorts in these cities tend to have a higher level of education than the population in general,” says Paul. “In large cities the number of skilled immigrants are often able to fill difficult, highly specialized positions.”